These may be a model that we can check our efforts against when we work with till tro.
- Contemplative – this is about being attentive to what God is saying and through prayer and Bible reading trying to ascertain God’s will. Having a conversation with God before making important decisions is essential to the success of the work. St Paul’s letter to the Colossians, chapter 2 verse 6: “.. just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him …”
- Creative – in an imaginative way, release and use all the gifts of God’s children. We need to recognise the freely offered gifts of our fellow workers and how we can best use them for the growth of the parish. We need to dare to think freshly and freely. We may try and not succeed. How can we reach people today who know next to nothing about Christianity? Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 12, verse 6 says: “We have different gifts, according the grace given us ….”. His letter to the Colossians, chapter 3 verse 16 says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God”.
- Continually – be rooted in the scriptures, the trustworthy traditions we have received, and seek to give them new expression. How can our faith be communicated today? The letter to the Colossians, chapter 2, verse 7, “… rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness”. Then the first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 11 verse 23: “For I received from the Lord what I also passed onto you …”
- Taking responsibility – we have responsibility before God and one another when we build for the future and today. We need to take the long view and understand that what we do today is crucial for the future of the faith. It says in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 20 verse 28: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers ..” And Luke chapter 20 verse 25 says: “Then give … to God what is God’s.”
- Joy in the work – in working for God for the extension of the faith. Caring relationships with fellow workers and other we meet in our work. Luke chapter 2 verse 10: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” 1 Peter 3 verse 13; “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?” Ephesians chapter 4 verse 32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Translated from an article on the Växjö Diocese web pages.
- The scripture verses in English are quoted from the New International Version.
- It may be noted that this description of the approach is based closely on the ‘Values’ section of the Diocese of Oxford Living Faith introductory leaflet (click here), with ‘Joy in the Work’ as an additional attribute.