Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Malcolm Duncan @ WBC

We had our first one day conference today at the college. It really was a pilot to test the waters whether the college could host these kind of events more often - it seemed to work pretty well. Near on 120 people were there to hear Malcolm Duncan of Faithworks as he took us on a journey looking at that place where Mission and Spiritual Formation collide.

It was interesting to hear him say that he thought our sacramental theology of the sacramental life was right for TSA and was something that was a gift to the wider church. "You have something to teach us....."

It was interesting hearing his concept of Spiritual Formation only making sense when it impacts our communities through us.

It was interesting hearing him point out that Mission without Spiritual Formation makes as little sense as Spiritual Formation without Mission.

It was interesting hearing his unrelenting proclivity towards 'the poor'.

A point that stayed with me was when answering a question that was really an apologetic for a position of 'there is more than just poor people to look out for...!' - 'know your purpose don't be a jack of all trades'

As he left for his train he turned to me and with a puzzled face asked "Why would anyone join The Salvation Army if they weren't bothered about the marginal?"



Rhonda Hayes said...

Does he think the college logo should be "because there's a poor world"? I could see the point that was trying to be made from the man in my group, and the point that Jesus makes about helping the poor, but what about the professional people who end up at Greig House? Sorry, I should post about this on my own blog.

Captain Andrew Clark said...

I suppose it shows the gap between what people think we are doing and what, in reality, we are doing. It is disheartening the way that Salvationists make apologietics for our calling to the poor.

This attitude works itself out in the fact that we'd rather pay people to work with the poor for us rather than do it ourselves. I'm certainly becoming increasingly 'Geoff Ryan' about the Army and the poor...or is it, ultimately, more 'Jesus' about the Army and the poor.

;o) Blog on brother.

Gordon said...

Thanks Ronnie

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11 seems to be what Jesus is quoting in Matthew.

Of course we help the middle class businessman - but our calling is to be 'open handed' to the poor - we need to be facing the right direction.

The trouble is when we come up with some of the excuses we do to legitimise our 'new found' ministries to the city set we find ourselves facing the wrong direction!

Gordon said...

I had a good chat with Geoff about this when he was over. My point on this issue was that when we were at Poplar we had superb support from one or two member sof the church that were pretty well off, without them our ministry to our locality would have suffered.

Gordon said...


As for your blog it seems to have disappeared!