Just Letting You Know

What do you know about Ignite’s Central Meeting? I’m guessing for some of you the answer is not a lot.  

As its name implies, it has a leadership role but not one of power and authority. More one of service and responsibility. Some years ago, when we were trying to draw a diagram to describe the structure of Ignite, the Central Meeting was at the bottom supporting and holding up all the other parts of Ignite like the roots on a tree. We didn’t want it to be hugely visible and present rather to be an enabler and supporter for everything else that happened under the umbrella of Ignite. 

If I remember correctly the most visible and apparently important thing in that diagram were cups of coffee and tea. Maybe this is still true! 

As I watched the winning candidates in the recent election talking about their success, it was evident there was quite a range of views about whether they saw their role as one of power and authority or one of service and responsibility. In other words, how they understood leadership. 

Undoubtedly, they all have a role in leadership and we can see that Jesus undertook them all.  

  • He demonstrated service – classically at the washing of the disciple’s feet (John 13:1-17) 
  • He accepted responsibility for fulfilling his Father’s mission even when it got very hard in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-46) 
  • He spoke with authority as was observed by those who loved him and by those who despised him (Matt 9:8 & Matt 21:23) 
  • He demonstrated power in his defeat of sin and death (Matt 4:1-11 & John 20:1-10) 

At the last Central Meeting, we reviewed what we thought the Central Meeting should be doing for Ignite. This is an attempt to share the conclusions with you: 

  • Holding and developing the vision for Ignite – the Central Meeting periodically holds Vision Days when members of the community come together to seek to discern God’s will for Ignite. What it is He is doing and how can we join in? We ask the questions -what are we doing that we should stop? What are we not doing that we should start? How can we better support all the different strands of Ignite? 
  • Be accountable to the vision for Ignite – observe and monitor that all that Ignite chooses to undertake fits within the broad vision that is in place at that time 
  • Support and encourage the staff – this includes ensuring there are sufficient staff/volunteers and resources for all that is planned  
  • The staff are accountable to the Central Meeting – they demonstrate that a valid expression of the vision is underway. In particular, that as far as possible all community members are given opportunities appropriate to their experience and calling to use their gifts through new or existing strands of Ignite in Blackrock or further afield 
  • Represent all groups within Ignite – this is held under review and while it’s not perfect at present. It is a movable feast. 
  • Ultimate decision maker – there is a strong preference for reaching consensus on any issue but only after a wide-ranging and vibrant discussion has taken place. Considerable time may be taken to allow this to happen. 
  • Looking after all external relationships – with the Methodist Church in particular but also any others who are relevant 
  • Looking after government and legal requirements – GDPR, child protection, employment law etc 
  • Overseeing practical issues – such as finance and building maintenance. The day-to-day work on these are dealt with by the Nuts and Bolts sub-committee. 

Meetings are held at least 4 times a year and otherwise as required – sometimes online and sometimes in person.
I hope this summary gives transparency to some of the background functioning in Ignite. 

Theme photo by Emma Henderson on Unsplash

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