John Coles, the former leader of New Wine, used to say “Success isn’t success without a successor”.
This last few weeks/months have been a funny time of saying/trusting people to “look after my babies”.
In many ways obviously the ‘babies’ are God’s babies, the dreams he has left us to custodian for a short time that need to be passed on to someone else, some also called by God to be a custodian of the outworking of God’s vision -someone who almost certain will add different things and priorities from us.
Yet, we can’t hold these things without developing a deep love and concern for them and the people connect with them. We care, and it is right that we care deeply, and so to pass on something that is hollowed and precious to us is difficult. Will they care for this as we have? The fear is that they may not treasure it as we have, not invest time, energy and love like you have into it…
Can we trust them with it?
Can we trust God with it?
In trusting people to take stuff on we become very aware of the fallen-ness that sometimes damages the fragile and vulnerability of it all; yet alongside this also we become acutely aware too of God’s faithfulness and the security of his hands and his heart.
Sometimes too fear can creep in and we try to keep hold of that which we ought to lay down.
CMS was born around tea of the eclectic society meeting at 4:00 for tea (how very English!). They gathered, discussed, dreamed, prayed and wonderful things were birthed that transformed not only global mission but also social transformation closer to home -the Shaftesbury society in its work outlawing child labour, Dr Barnado’s in caring for orphaned children, Wilberforce in the abolition of slavery and many others. They asked the question “What can we do to see the unreached heathen come to hear the Gospel of Christ Jesus?”.
They gathered, they dreamed, they kept meeting and they put their dreams into practice, as they gathered for tea from their now infamous teapot!
Yesterday in ASDA after writing my “Teapot” blog I felt compelled to buy a teapot or two as a prophetic gift, asking who is going to be the teapot holders in Kingswood and Hanham once I have gone. Who will hold the teapot of re-thinking mission and discipleship in our area (or wider area)?
Who will gather people? Who share their God inspired dreams with other people and let them fly? Who will pray and serve to see these new dreams become realities birthed in and amongst communities?
Wondering too, perhaps the custodian of a teapot, might be a gatherer?
There are many people who might be visionaries but they do gather people well, maybe God is calling you to be a teapot holder that in gathering people in the meeting and encounter(s) form calaysts that blesses and over-flows.
Perhaps too your an ideas person, and God is calling you into a community, the fuel for Christ’s inspired spark within you?
Maybe the teapot is you gathering the momentum around the vision and dream Christ has put within you?
Yet, for too long perhaps we have neglected the power of the teapot, of dreaming together, of gathering, of sharing ideas.
We have not allowed ourselves too ask those uncomfortable questions too, that challenge and yet inspire and can spring board to new and wonderful places.
So, I’d love to give you a teapot.
I’d love to see people gathering together and seeking the dream that God has placed inside of them to be birthed in their context transforming our communities, cities, nation and world.
So will you take the teapot, gather and dream, share and pray, and see the Kingdom come more fully on earth as heaven.