Membership of a PCC provides significant opportunities to share in the core experience of the Christian life.
- Co-operation with God. As far back as the 4th century St. Augustine summed up the divine-human relationship in these words: ‘Without us, God will not; without God we cannot.’ So, our endeavour to bring the Kingdom of God into our parish needs a commitment to practical action but also to prayer, waiting, discerning how God wants us to move forward. Doing that together as a PCC is a great privilege.
- Collaboration with other PCC members. The word for Christian in much of the New Testament is saint and we hardly ever encounter it in the singular. There are lots of images of the church to remind us that we are called to work and witness together – building (in which we are the bricks), army (in which we are soldiers), body (in which we are connected parts). A PCC invites us to deliberate and decide how best to act in harmony with one another and thus learn the beauty of collaboration.
- Celebration of diversity and perspective. The Church is not meant to be part of a monochrome society which puts uniformity above all else. When Jesus prays that the church may be ‘one’ he did not envisage complete agreement on every detail of belief or behaviour. Sometimes there will be conflict and tension as different people view matters from varied viewpoints but provided there is patience and generosity in the relationships of a PCC the whole life of the church will be enriched.
- Commendation of Christianity to the whole community. The word ‘parish’ comes from the Greek ‘para oikos’ meaning ‘alongside the house’ and it highlights the missionary nature of the church as a gathering of people committed to the well-being of those beyond its walls. Sometimes that will involve protest, at other times it might mean partnership but whatever form it takes it means that there must be dialogue and exchange between congregation and community and the PCC need to work out how best to develop it.
From these pointers it should be clear that membership of a PCC is both a great responsibility and a great privilege. It should help in developing the life of discipleship, vocation and evangelism both in you as an individual and in your church as a whole. It should be a golden opportunity to share the life and love of Jesus Christ with all. So may God bless you richly as you step forward and begin this new adventure!