We lean in by laying our hearts open and laying down our agendas.
A storify of our time together can be found here
On Saturday 17th September several members of the network gathered for our annual equipping day. This year it was held in Birmingham and our speaker was minister, author and leader Anne Calver. Anne she led us on a journey through Exodus 3 and 4 (with a few diversions along the way!)
Anne was inspired, sharing nuggets of wisdom and honest experience throughout our time together. What was notable for me was how clear Anne’s sense of call was and her conviction that both she and her husband Gavin (Director of Mission for Evangelical Alliance) were called to leadership. For so many of us in relationships our focus can sometimes be on the calling of one or other of us rather than God’s call on each of us. It has clearly not been an easy journey, and the outworking of this call is ongoing, but what was clear to me was the challenge to consider not only my own calling but that of my wife Sarah, as Anne and Gavin have. How do I enable her to be obedient to her call while seeking to be obedient to my own? It seems good in theory, but what might this look like in practice?
Anne’s honesty in sharing that she was a reluctant leader set the tone for an openness that was significant to our day together. I think this reluctance resonates with many of us in leadership. Not many of us feel able or equipped for ministry. Anne helped us to consider how we respond to the call from God using Moses’ response to his encounter with God as a framework. As we journeyed through the various elements it was evident that as Anne shared people throughout the room were resonating with her experience. As well as opening up her own humanity, Anne made Moses’ humanity evident for us and brought fresh insight to this story.
Those who were present to hear Anne share were in broad agreement that this was precisely the kind of event that Sophia should be hosting and promoting. We’re already looking forward to next year!
(I realise that this reflection comes from the male perspective of a trustee. Next month, one of the delegates will be providing a reflection)
Dan Crouch is a trustee of Sophia and an ordinand at Trinity College, Bristol.