We are embarking for the first time in my Deanery on an interesting discussion about mission. We do face some very tough choices as a Diocese but instead of fear and pessimism we are launching out I hope into a time of faith and possibility. May it be so.
A five year old who is not yet a follower of Jesus in our local school asked a great question walking to see us today that we all might do well to dwell on.
Here it is:
"What is the Church for?"
Answers on a postcard and you need to answer the question in a way the little person can understand please (no Phd required)...,
These are a few of the things I have come across that I shared with my fellow Vicars about mission.
1. Keller on Urban and Missional
2. Christianity rediscovered
3. What does a missional community look like?
4. The Radical Reformission (I didn't share this. My dear local Vicar pals would not be blessed reading Driscoll methinks though there was an insight or two for me personally that were true gems)
Reformission is a radical call to reform the church's traditionally flawed view of missions as something carried out in foreign lands and to focus instead on the urgent need in our own neighborhoods, which are filled with diverse cultures.......who desperately need the gospel of Jesus and life in his Church. Most significant, they need a gospel and a church who are faithful both to the scriptural texts and to the cultural contexts ...........What I am advocating is not an abandonment of missions across the globe but rather an emphasis on missions that begins across the street, like Jesus commanded (Acts 1:8)
5. An Alan Hirsch piece in Leadership called 'Defining Missional'
6. The Church Army website is worth a click about on.
7. Keller on Vocation which a colleague in a neighbouring parish asked me for so I re-read it and was reminded how good it is.
Lastly, maybe the child's Mum and Dad are as confused about the church as their child who asked 'What is the church for?' and the whole family might do well to watch this. The new A of C in waiting might want to give it a watch too.