Tomorrow I'll be off to the FIEC (Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches) Extraordinary Assembly in Edgbaston, Birmingham. We'll be considering whether on not to accept the 'FIEC for a New Day' proposals. These include appointing John Stevens, pastor of City Evangelical Church, Birmingham as full time FIEC Director, and making current General Secretary, Richard Underwood 'Church and Pastors' Support Director'. I understand that the suggested appointment of further Directors for Training and Evangelism have been put on the back burner for now. Talking to fellow FIEC ministers in the area, it seems that there is some cynicism about the proposals. So, it will be interesting to see how it goes.
For my part, I think that the FIEC needs to work harder to get churches and pastors involved on a local level. Our area Leaders' Meeting is often poorly attended, with pastors claiming that they are too busy to be there. That makes me feel like a bit of slacker for just turning up. But should not fostering fellowship and co-operation between local Evangelical churches be a priority for pastors? If I get the chance this is one of the points I hope to raise in the discussion session. What ideas do the proposed national Directors have on making the FIEC work on a local level? In other words, how can we make the 'F' for Fellowship in the FIEC meaningful?
I hope the trip to Birmingham will be worthwhile and that the Assembly will help to rejuvenate the FIEC. It had better be worth it because I'll have to miss watching the Wales v Australia rugby match on TV to be there. Didn't the FIEC bigwigs think to consult the WRU to make sure the Assembly didn't clash with international fixtures before setting the date of the meeting? Don't they realise that a disproportionate number of FIEC ministers are Welsh?