Daring Greatly - Our new President's message

At the Baptist Assembly in Peterborough on 16th May, 2015 Rev Jenni Entrican took up the post of President of the Baptist Union. Her opening address challenged Baptists to be people of courage to bring about transformation. She explained the theme of her Presidency, which she has entitled ‘Daring Greatly’.Jenni address 250


‘To Dare Greatly is both an invitation and a challenge for us all,’ she explained ‘as God’s people, as individuals, groups of Jesus’ followers, churches, as a Union. It’s a challenge to dare to do something and to dare to do it, not half-heartedly, but greatly.’ The phrase ‘Daring Greatly’ is taken from a book by Brené Brown about the value and importance of vulnerability, the subtitle of which is ‘How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead’. It is not a challenge to become a great fearsome warrior brandishing a sword, and nor a challenge to do more, she explained. It is a challenge “to be different and to do differently.” There are three aspects to this challenge, she continued:
The courage to be real: ‘In a nutshell, being willing to show up with your uncertainties and weaknesses’.
The courage to step outside the box: ‘We need to have the courage to step away from what is comfortable for us, to enable us to see God at work beyond our comfort zones.’
And the courage to follow Jesus: ‘The challenge that requires courage from us, is to look afresh at Jesus - whom he hung out with, what he said about religious law-keeping, and how his ‘kingdom’ was so significantly different from any ‘kingdom’ we still try to build.’ She said that the Bible is full of people who knew that God was asking them to be and do differently.  ‘Most were people like us - neither a world leader nor a wimp. And when, if, they picked up their specific challenge from God, they found that amazing things happened in them, to them and through them.’ Daring Greatly, not surprisingly given the upside-down nature of God’s kingdom, is about 'giving up something to find something greater', Jenni said, before leading to a general challenge for alll Baptists: ‘I invite you to join me this year to unpack what Daring Greatly and these three aspects might mean for you.’ Those present were able to engage immediately with the theme, with each delegate back containing a footprint, with the words: “The courage to….”

They were then invited to write something on the footprint and stick it on a wall in the atrium of the Kingsgate Centre.
Other ways of engaging include the Daring Greatly website www.daringgreatly.org.uk, which will be updated with Jenni’s reflections, photos from her travels to meet people around our Union, and blogs from friends who will be sharing their own thoughts on the 'Daring Greatly' theme. DaringGreatlyfootprint250