Friday, February 10, 2017

One more memory of Helen Roseveare

Some time in the 1990s, I think it was, Helen Roseveare was invited to be the speaker at WEC International's conference. She was given the topic of 'Fellowship', one of the four guiding principles of WEC. We had recently gone through the exercise of creating a mission statement. It began, "Working together, with the UK church and the worldwide fellowship of WEC, . . ." I recall that she spoke about "Working together comma". We had deliberately put that comma in, because we wanted to indicate that we were committed to working together in fellowship within our own ranks. Yes, we want to work in fellowship with the church and with our scattered colleagues around the world, but the rubber hits the road with those closest to us.

This principle of fellowship was added to the other three WEC 'Pillars' of faith, sacrifice and holiness at the instigation of Norman Grubb, who was deeply affected by the East African Revival of the 1940s and '50s. It requires sacrifice to put ourselves at the service of our colleagues and to be willing to confess to them when we are wrong. It requires holiness in attitudes of respect and love for all our colleagues, however difficult we may at times find them. But it is foundational to being the church of God that we live together committed to each other, recognising that we are all together the body of Christ.

The classic exposition of WEC's Four Pillars, including Fellowship
The tendency is for us all to do our own thing, and to hide from conflict and disrespect by hiving ourselves off from those we find uncongenial. That does nothing to build Christ in us. The result is that our light then shines less brightly, and our aim as WEC is to shine the light of Christ and bring others into that light.

Excellent, out of print, but may be available from your nearest WEC rep.
WEC teaches this principle of fellowship along with faith, sacrifice and holiness. We have also had a fair share of "rugged individuals" who ploughed their own furrow, inviting others to follow or join, but not necessarily fitting in with others or being open to correction or direction from other leaders. If we are not to be hypocrites, it is a principle we have both to learn and to revise from time to time.

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