Well, perhaps it shouldn’t be, but it probably is.

This month – the first of the New Year – we want to embark on a new project. The title of the series is “Life on the Frontline”. The theme is whole life discipleship. The sacred – secular divide runs deep in Christian thinking. It works like this.

We all know the parts of the week God is really interested in.

Sunday mornings at 9am and 11 am, of course. And definitely those (many) evenings on which church meetings are held. But Monday at 2.30 pm? No – that is when I am at work. Or out shopping. Or looking after the kids. There is nothing happening then. Unless, we have a PCC meeting that evening that I need to prepare for.

Neil Hudson, who writes on this subject puts it this way.

“Twenty five years ago I became a full time church leader. Young, inexperienced and dangerously enthusiastic, I spent the first three or four years learning the job as a curate. I led school assemblies in the morning, was dispatched to visit older people in the afternoon, and in the evenings attended meetings and led the youth group. Then I was out on my own. Basically, I was sent off to ride the bike without stabilisers. I went to pastor a keen, mission-minded inner city church. It sometimes felt intimidating to be there. But protected by barbed wire, CCTV and faith, we worked hard. We were busy: school assemblies every week; an after-school club; a pregnancy advice centre; services in old people’s homes; charitable enterprises in Eastern Europe; working with children in local schools. Wherever we saw a need we saw the task of the church as responding to that need. And we tried. Except that, at the end of my seven years, we were an exhausted church and I was an exhausted vicar.”

So what happened to Neil?

We will find out more about the journey he made in weeks to come. But we also want to go on a journey ourselves. The more of us who go on it, the more we can learn from each other, and the more transformation of our thinking there will be.

Are the dates in your diary?

Session 2 Monday, 16th January OR Tuesday, 24th January
Session 3 Monday, 30th January OR Tuesday, 7th February
Session 4 Monday, 20th February OR Tuesday, 28th February
Session 5 Monday, 6th March OR Tuesday, 14th March
Session 6 Monday, 20th March OR Tuesday, 28th March