Rev. Joe Pienaar, Vicar of St. Hugh’s Lewsey & Area Dean of Luton
By now many of you will be aware that I have been appointed the Area Dean of Luton. I feel privileged to have been asked to carry out this role and a little overwhelmed at the same time knowing what an amazing job Janet McKenzie has done for the last few years. Please do join me in praying for her as she starts her new role as Archdeacon of Hertford. Please also pray for Tony Sellars as he prepares for retirement, and for Steve Wood (Assistant Area Dean) and I as we seek to lead the Deanery with the rest of the team.
It is my intention to write to you regularly and keep you informed of things that are going on in the Deanery or the Diocese. The first date to make you aware of is our Living God’s Love Deanery Day on 23rd February 2017. This is an opportunity for us to encourage mission across the town and to celebrate the good things that are happening as well as to hear from the Bishop more about the refreshed vision. Please book in the date and more details will follow shortly.
Part of the Bishop’s charge to me is to champion mission in Luton. The mission of God is the mission to which we are all called, each with an important part to play as a member of the body of Christ. ‘Living God’s love 2020’ gives some guidance as to what this might look like for us personally, and our churches: The LIVING GOD’S LOVE 2020 vision is to see:
Flourishing Christ-centred communities. I long to see every church community in the Luton Deanery growing in confidence to be and to share the good news in their communities, and to grow numerically. I believe that there are lots of people where we work, on the bus, at the supermarket, in our family, friendship groups, or clubs that we attend who would love to hear the good news and respond to God’s love; today’s society yearns for true community.
Inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to discover God. We are only able to inspire people to discover God when we become more like the message that we share. How do people know you’re a Christian? Is it for the right reasons of kindness, love and generosity that they know? Do you pray for them? Do you serve them? Are you generous in your dealings with them? St. Francis of Assisi said “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words”, I am regularly challenged by Jesus’ call to be incarnational wherever we find ourselves.
Grow in their relationship with Him. How are we nurturing and caring for those new to faith or offering fresh challenges to those who are mature? Who are we personally discipling and journeying with through life? Jesus’ commission to each of us is to be both a disciple and a maker of disciples.
Respond to transforming love through serving others. As serving others is so foundational to building God’s kingdom, how are we giving opportunities for people to serve in ministry and mission, and recognising and encouraging those who see their work as ministry or mission?
Hopefully you find something above that is helpful, encouraging or challenging. I believe that when we become intentional about the ways in which we share and serve then we will feel most alive and satisfied that we are actually fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission - and there’s a lot of fun in doing it too! Enjoy yourselves Living God’s Love!