Time to ‘Put out to deep water and let down your nets’

Published June 3, 2011

The Right Rev. Stephen Croft calls himself ‘consciously incompetent’ Photo: Courtesy of vitalchurchplanting.com

Following a short welcoming video featuring the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, one of the most powerful voices in today’s mission-shaped and Gospel-driven church, the Rt. Rev. Stephen Croft updated Toronto’s Vital Church Planting conference on recent thinking in the Fresh Expressions initiative.

In a keynote address entitled “Put out to deep water and let down your nets,” the Bishop of Sheffield spoke about reaching out, becoming Luke’s fishers of people (5:5) and establishing Christ-like communities. Admitting to attending the conference more as a student and learner than an expert, the leader of Fresh Expressions, U.K., said that is not always clear precisely what should be done and it is not wise to pretend that you have all the answers and everything set up neat and tidy. “But I believe that conscious incompetence is far better than unconscious incompetence. I am a consciously incompetent bishop.”

When the Archbishop of Canterbury threw down the challenge of leading the established English church within five short years to the point where the mission-shaped model was the norm in mainstream Anglicanism, Croft was understandably daunted: “But I set the ringtone on my cellphone to the theme from Mission Impossible and away we went,” he said.


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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