Thursday, 29 May 2008

Getting more things done

I used to think I was quite an organized person.

But I still struggle to handle all the paperwork, answer all the e-mails, talk to all the people and plan the events and do all the other things I feel God is calling me to do.

Recently I've read a couple of great books on managing time: Getting Things Done by David Allen and Do it Tomorrow by Mark Forster. The former is the June 'Book of the month'; click here to read the review. The latter will be featured in a couple of months' time.

As a result of reading and pondering these, I now have a new system for dealing with all the 'stuff' which I have to process. Do it tomorrow is not about putting things off, but making a list each day of the tasks for the following day, and not adding those little 'urgent' things which crop up, or following the interesting web links... all the other things which seep away at my time.

I had a tidying-up blitz - that was a good thing, too; and I have better systems for collecting what I have to do, and organing priorities and tasks.

I commend the idea of having a sort out and learning new skills in this area every so often. Why not allocate a day over the summer when you get sorted and set up for the future? For me, this is already reaping rewards.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Men and women in ministry

I've just listened to a great message by John Ortberg on the subject of women in ministry.

I'm always on the look-out for good resources on this subject, and this is certainly one. Ortberg explores women in the Bible, the so-called 'difficult passages' and how to come to a conclusion on the question of women's ministry. I was amazed at how much material he covers in this talk, and as one might expect, it's communicated in a lively way.

It's great that Willow Creek, which influence many leaders, should have produced such an excellent summary of what I would call the egalitarian 'biblical equality' position.

The message CD can be obtained from Willow Creek UK.

Women in Willow
Willow Creek has also recently launched Women in Willow. 

I have to admit that when I see the words 'wife of a leader' alongside 'woman leader', I'm immediately anxious, and it remains to be seen whether this resource is helpful for women leaders. If I could go to the Leadership Summit, I would; I don't want a 'women's' alternative set of teaching. But if this group helps women struggle with the additional challenges women leaders face, I'm all for it.

While on the subject of Ortberg's message, New Wine South A (and B), 2007 had a similarly excellent session on 'Women in Leadership' by Anne and John Coles, which is available on CD. This can be purchased through the New Wine site .

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Not for Sale Sunday

Sunday 18 May is Not for Sale Sunday.

Not for Sale Sunday, which aims to inspire and inform churches to help reduce sex trafficking in the UK is organized by CHASTE (Churches Alert to Sex Trafficking across Europe).

Just adding one prayer to the intercessions at your church on Sunday would be heard by God and would help to bring this cause to people's attention. See

I particularly liked the Josephine Butler Citation:

'Remember them that are in bonds, as being bound with them. Even if we lack the sympathy which makes us feel the chains which bind our enslaved sisters are pressing on us also, we cannot escape the fact that we are one womanhood; we cannot be wholly and truly free.'

In the nineteenth century, Josephine Butler (1828-1907) made herself thoroughly unpopular in the Anglican church by campaigning tirelessly to repeal the Contagious Diseases Act and prevent organized prostitution. She believed that God cared about the suffering of women and was determined to do something about it, supported by her clergyman husband and the rest of her family.

For more information about Josephine Butler, click here.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Even more numbers

I've just been reading about the numbers of women in appointments in the gift of the Crown.

WATCH (Women and the Church: see has recently circulated an excerpt from the Commons 'Oral Answers to Qustions' on 8th May concerning the view of the House on women bishops. Robert Key, MP for Salisbury, asked a couple of questions of Stuart Bell, the Second Church Estates Commissioner.

In response, Stuart Bell said: 'There are approximately 650 parochial appointments in the gift of the Crown, of which patronage for around 450 is exercised on the Crown's behalf by the Lord Chancellor. In some cases, the patronage right is shared in turn with other patrons of the benefice. 103 of those appointments are held by women.'

It's interesting to compare this with the figures I quoted in a previous post, for CPAS patronage churches. I find these figures slightly ambigous: does he mean 103 women out of 450, or of 650? Assuming the former, that means that 22% of these appointement are held by women, as compared with 10.5% of CPAS patronage posts. (If he means the 650, that is about 16%.)

I wonder what accounts for this higher percentage in the case of Crown appointments...?

And Stuart Bell's final comment: 'This House - in its majority, I think - supports women bishops and we urge the Church in this case to make haste less slowly.'

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Numbers: a small correction

It's been pointed out that my post of 24 April ('Good news about numbers') contained a small error.

The number of churches where CPAS is involved in the patronage is 514, not 540.

But the good news is that this means that 54 women incumbents is 10.5% of this number, rather than 10% - even better news!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Mentoring Leaders

There's a new book review on the Women in Leadership area of the CPAS website.

To read the review, click here.

There's a wealth of wisdom on leadership and mentoring in this book, so it's worth looking at the review to decide if it's for you.

Originally published in the USA in 2005, it may not be stocked in in all UK Christian bookshops. However, it should be readily available to order - at your local bookshop or through internet sites.