Today I have been putting finishing touches on two documents that I have to present to our project board, which is a committee of heavyweight professionals half of whom represent the diocese and the other half St Bs. One of these documents is a Project Plan - an overarching paper to try and keep everyone moving in the same direction; no easy task where people are coming from quite different perspectives. The other is a fundraising plan which tries to flesh out how we are going to raise enough money to accomplish the scheme. Both documents require not only robust arguments and substantiated figures, but also that most critical of ingredients: faith.
I've been struck recently, reading through the early chapters of Acts, by the incredible boldness of Peter and John. First there was Peter's commanding preaching on the day of Pentecost when 3000 new believers joined the early church. Then the very public healing at the Beautiful Gate, where Peter orders the 40-year cripple to be healed. What a spine-tingling moment that must've been - I feel the hairs bristle on the back of my neck just to think about it. And then when Peter and John are arrested and standing before the Sanhedrin, they spoke with extraordinary authority. This was the gathering of the great and good in the highest seat of authority in the land. But the elders were powerless in the face of two ordinary men who dared to believe. The eloquence of the educated was rendered mute when hearing the northern accents of these two simple fishermen tell of the greatness of their God.
How I need that kind of faith and boldness. Not that I am in any way comparing our project board with the New Testament Sanhedrin; on the contrary they are our friends who are incredibly supportive of all that we are trying to achieve. However in their company I do sometimes feel like the simple fisherman speaking with elite experts. Yet in that context I can also be the authoritative voice of faith.