Archive for November, 2011

Neglect leads to Negative Spiral

Recently a church leader confessed to me that my Seminar had saved Back to Church Sunday in their Diocese. Most churches had not done it for 18 months. This shook me a little as Back to Church Sunday is focussed invitation to the gathered people of God. Another church leader on another occasion described me as the boy pushing the large boulder of invitation up a hill. It does I confess feel like that at times!

At the heart of the Christian faith is invitation. What is Grace if it is not God’s undeserved invitation to all of us? When Jesus said at the beginning of his ministry follow me, he was inviting us into the way.

I am trying to understand why don’t we do the very thing that God has commanded? My initial conclusion is “neglect”. We concentrate on the easier things to do in our Christian discipleship, like going to an act of worship, silent prayer, hymn singing etc.

The harder things such as invitation we try, and when they don’t work the first time, we quietly drop. Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion in self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does our level of activity. As our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer our attitude begins to weaken. And as our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more….and on and on it goes. Failure to do the things we could and should do results in the creation of a negative spiral, which one started, is difficult to stop.

But once we start to go in the opposite direction and start inviting, overcoming the fear and guilt, a positive spiral begins and confidence returns. People receive invitations and for some of the invited it’s the best day of their lives