The vintage will fail,
the fruit harvest will not come ...
until a spirit from on high is poured out on us,
and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
The effect of righteousness will be peace,
and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
Isaiah 32:10, 15-17 (NRSV)
What does a “wilderness” require to become “a fruitful field”? And what does “a fruitful field” require to become “a forest”?
The Methodist Church is called to be a discipleship movement shaped for mission—a movement which makes disciples of Jesus—a movement which deepens the discipleship of God’s people—a movement which helps us all to work out how to be Christ-like in an often un-Christlike but never Christless world.
The Methodist Church has always invested heavily to equip God’s people for discipleship and mission. John Wesley sought to provide rigorous training for his preachers and an empowering Christian education for his followers. Today the Methodist Church supports a network of learning institutions, educational centres and theological educators across the country. Their task is to support, in direct and indirect ways, the ministries of the Church and the growth in faith of God’s people.
But, driven by a yearning to be a better discipleship movement, the Methodist Church is changing. We are experiencing growth and renewal in many ways. For instance, revitalised patterns of worship and increasing numbers of ‘fresh expressions’, like our Messy Church and 0930 Live! here in Frodsham, widening ecumenical partnerships, such as Frodsham Churches Together, and an increasingly rich and diverse membership.
And as the Methodist Church changes, so also must the connexional resources which seek to equip, support and enrich its leaders and members. As part of a project called ‘the fruitful field’, the Methodist Church is asking for feedback on how it currently teaches and trains people. All are invited to respond by firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to The Fruitful Field, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR, before 23rd December.
Written by the Minister & Members