synodThat was a question posed by Simon Cade, who is director of education and discipleship, to the members of the diocesan synod. But that wasn’t his first question. That was to ask who ‘we’ are. At the diocesan synod, the ‘we’ is everyone elected to make up that synod, clergy and lay people alike.

He suggested that we should look to NASA for ambition – who but the Americans could think they could administer space? But our faith in God and our belief and confidence in the resurrection should give us that level of ambition in our hopes to enable people for discipleship – tempered of course, with humility.

Simon acknowledged that all is not perfect within the structure that frames the synod. However, instead of waiting for any given, perceived problem to be fixed, the thing that needs fixing is our individual discipleship. If we get that right, everything else will follow – this is God we’re talking about, bigger even than NASA’s scope of reference.

The next question was about how we could lead in a way that frees people for discipleship? He gave us five pointers: Worship, Abundance, One Body, Witness and Hope.

Worship is a much richer idea that the thing we do on a Sunday. Worship is about who we are, as God’s children and how we respond to that in everything we do, every day, wherever we are and whatever we are doing.

Abundance. Cornwall is a place of abundance and scarcity and its churches are no different. But God is generous, and loves us in abundance, even in the places where there is scarcity. Our call is to lead in a way that believes abundance is for everyone and it should be shared.

One Body. A great demonstration of this was the recent London marathon where a runner helped another across the finish line. How amazing if all the churches demonstrated the same generosity to each other and even enabled the struggling church to cross the line first.

Witness. Having the courage to tackle the hard questions and being witness to God’s love through healing and loving each other.

Hope. Hope is something that seems thin on the ground in some parts of Cornwall but if we really believe in the resurrection and all that it means, then hope is something that should shine out of all of us and give us confidence. Using the example of a shipwreck, Simon asked what would leadership looked like if we abandoned the lifeboat and trusted in God?

“The challenge for everyone,” said Simon, ” Is to rest in the certainty of God’s love for us and to lead as if we truly believe that.”