From the Dean
Bishop’s Training Day
A group of 12 people from St David's Cathedral attended Making Disciples Everyday, the 2018 Bishop’s Training Day, joining over 400 Anglicans of all ages from all over the State.
Bp Richard lead the opening session, preaching on Jesus sending out 72 into kingdom mission (Luke 10:1-24). He pointed out that these were not great ones (we are not told any of their names), but they are simply told to get on with the job of telling people about the Kingdom of God.
Do we over-complicate the mission of the Church?
Secondly, do we hear Jesus’ call to pray for more workers for the harvest, does mission permeate our prayers?
Finally, the passage reminds us of the authority of Jesus. He is the Lord of the harvest, he sends out the workers, and to reject the mission is to reject him.
Jesus is to be the focus of what we do.
Andy Goodacre, from Barney’s in North Launceston, got us to think about whether Jesus really knew what he was doing? He was starting a movement with unlikely people from unlikely places, he antagonised the religious people, and he turned his back on the crowds and invested in a small group. Yet within 300 years according to sociologist Rodney Stark, 50 per cent of the Roman Empire were Christians. Jesus had invested in the few for the sake of the many.
So Jesus can use us, unlikely people from an unlikely place, as we are discipled and disciple others to build his kingdom.
Throughout the morning we had interviews and videos sharing encouraging stories of growth and grace from around Tasmania. St David’s Cathedral Assistant the Revd Ruth Hanlon led the worship which punctuated the main sessions.
In the afternoon there were workshops. I attended one on personal evangelism where we were reminded that the message is about the crucified and risen Jesus, and we share the gospel as one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
But we must intentionally pray for people to be saved (1 Tim 2:1-6) and prepare to speak about our hope (1 Peter 3:15-16).
My second workshop was on faith, church and mental illness. There was a session on caring for and disciplining same-sex attracted Christians, and another on Islam and Christianity. Other workshops were about making the most of kids' talk in Church and creative engagement strategies.
The overall message was that there are resources for us so we all can play our part in being a church for Tasmania making disciples of Jesus.
Dean Richard Humphrey