TWUK Prayer Day 2015 - Seven TWUK Distinctives
Jeff Steady, TWUK Chair, encouraged the Prayer Day attendees with his message in which he referred to seven 'distinctives' of TWUK. He then looked at how we should respond to the challenges represented by these distinctives.
Our vision is as far as we can see, pretty much unique. It’s God given. No-one else is doing what we do.
We are overwhelmingly a volunteer organisation. That is, apart from our lead ambassador, Ros Turner! When people continue to join a vision even sometimes at their own cost, as they are with TWUK, then it’s a very good sign.
We have 280 work place groups and 52 related Christian Professional Groups. But there are tens of thousands of secular organisations in this country with Christians working in them. They all need a CWG. And the vision equally applies in other countries. The scope for TWUK is huge. We wish to fulfil the potential!
There is a time for everything. TWUK and its vision is right for the present time, not least with the present day focus on openness and equality.
We are wanted
Employers of all sorts in our experience are proving open to the creation and development of CWGs if they are presented with wisdom and love. Do not believe it if you hear that the workplace is anti-Christian. Employers everywhere positively desire employees who are full of integrity, honesty and industry and who are at pains to bring a positive influence in the organisation. TWUK promotes all of those things.
TWUK is complementary to an overall positive Christian picture in this country.
These days we have UK churches numbering a thousand members or more. We have more church plants than ever. Many churches and Christians are alive and vibrant. There are countless excellent missions and ministries emanating from this land. Let’s be honest, it was never quite like that in my day! TWUK fits well in that overall positive picture. Churches and missions recognise more than ever that they cannot do everything. Specialist initiatives and experience are prized. TWUK is widely welcomed by a diverse range of organisations. And TWUK does not see itself as doing ‘church’ but as complementary to church membership.
Summary: TWUK has a huge, timely vision which is attractive both to secular workplaces and to the wider Christian family.
So, how should we respond to these distinctives?
The Word states that it is ‘not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit’ says the Lord. However skilled and experienced we may be, however well-resourced and able, we do not rely on ourselves, but we follow the Holy Spirit. It would be easy to go headlong into rather human ways. But the way of the Spirit speaks life and health and peace. We may do all we can, but it is the work that the Spirit does that will fulfil our vision. We will stay prayerful and careful for the Lord’s ways.
Much better to do a little well, than to do more but less well. We aim in everything to do the best we can with the resources we have. We want to serve our CWGs and CPGs excellently.
Most businesses that fold do so because they expanded too quickly. At every point, let us consider the balance between ‘faith foot forward’ and God-given wisdom on available resources. We aim to move forward progressively and powerfully but without undue haste. (By the way, TWUK has appointed a Director of strategy and review, Michael Coveney, not least for this purpose).
We aim to be clear in what we hope to achieve and focus our energies and resources appropriately. It would be easy with such a splendid vision resourced by volunteers as we are to get easily excited and do the things that are attractive to us personally or even as a team, to the detriment of achieving key aims. It will take personal discipline and maybe sacrifice to keep to the core tasks and fulfil our specific roles.
CWGs are not for the short term. They are not a fashion. There will always be a huge place for the interaction between Christian employees and their secular workplaces. What we are beginning now is fresh and new but it is long term. The need for the vision will not fade. There may be times of challenge as well as rapid progress, but keeping our eyes on the long term nature of our vision and calling will be essential to smooth out the ripples and energize the push forward. Our aim is a big one. We need big hearts and long sight to achieve it.
Summary: TWUK is more a marathon than a hundred yard sprint. Careful focus and measured pace will help us achieve our God given vision.