I’m hugely impressed by the rapid responses so many individuals and churches have already made, since the escalation of the impact of coronavirus. We talk a lot about innovation and adaptation during Re:Imagine and as one leader said to me last week, following the launch weekend for another group of churches in our region, ‘last week we were recognising we needed to re-imagine, this week we’re doing it’.

The story of the people of God is one of thriving in adverse circumstances. The majority of the Bible was first written out of contexts of adversity or persecution. Truth is; it has never been easy, but the UK Church may have been tempted by the lure of the cultural tides of post-modernity into beginning to think it should be. That was two weeks ago.

Asking the right questions is vitally important, I’m sure you’ll agree, as those pursuing the adventure of the mission of God wherever he’s placed us. One of the biggest questions is ‘what is God saying’? Listening to God, first and foremost, is critical for us all in taking our next step in pursuing the mission of God. It remains critical, whatever our circumstances.  A friend of mine has just  told me of a conversation she’d had when out walking with her husband, which another lady began: ‘I’m not a religious person, but don’t you think God is trying to tell us something about what our priorities really need to be’? I’m noticing that more of those ‘not-religious’ are asking our questions, aren’t you?

As someone already convinced I need to be more engaged with people who are a long way from the kingdom of God (my perspective), I’m wanting to lean into God’s purposes for and through my life. This season, however long it lasts, will end. We shall survive. Rather than re-imaging how we’d love things to become, let’s grasp the opportunities as God brings them to our awareness to be the change now.

My daily practice is to give a few minutes to listening to whatever God might be saying to me. The most consistent and reliable mechanism I have to hear him is the Bible, God’s word.

If you’re not already making regular use of the Discipleship Cycle, please take a look and try it. We’re in the process of developing an App to make working round it even easier for everyone, so please pray for this – that it might happen and become a widely used tool, which is a source of blessing.

This week we’re starting a passage for the week – you’re welcome to use it in addition to your regular readings, or to use the Discipleship Cycle with those.

You may also want to grasp the opportunities of more regular contact, albeit virtual, which others can bring, and use the Discipleship Cycle with a small group, so do feel free to share it.


Nigel Coles

Nigel is Regional Team Leader of the West of England Baptist Network. He facilitates the life of the webnet team and oversees the missional strategy for the region. He also works to develop missional strategy over a wider geographical area with our partner Associations and Baptists Together. Nigel believes that when Jesus sent out seventy-two others, he meant everyone who was there, and this passion to help everyone find their way in the mission of God is what inspired the development of Seventy-two.