Thursday, August 15, 2013

Leading Kingdom Movements

Our church plant is now nearly a year old and we are about to embark on the next season in this adventure. There have been both successes and failures in this kingdom endeavour and I am reflecting and praying about both.

Now, one of the buzz words for those who live in church land is the word 'missional'. Millions of words have been spilt on what this means and much of it has seemed to me an articulation of the blindingly obvious. For me, if church is about both coming and going then mission is the 'going' bit. It's about doing daily life and ordinary things in the Spirit's power. We do this in the hope of engaging those who do not yet know Jesus with the gospel.

But how do you actually do that? The truth is, I've really little idea but here are ten things that have had some impact to varying degrees over these last twelve months.

1. Be kind
2. Pray
3. Practice hospitality
4. Practice joy
5. Be yourself and repent when you mess up (which I do with huge regularity)
6. Have faith for the release of God's power and be obedient to whatever he tells you to do and then do it.
7. Sing
8. Be interesting (in order to encourage this I recommend reading books) and also hang out with people and in places where the not-yet Jesus followers gather e.g Your local neighbourhood coffee shop.
9. Rest well
10. Practice silence, solitude and journalling

As part of my where next discussions and negotiations with the Lord, I've been reading Mike Breen's latest book called 'Leading Kingdom Movements' (I have also been studying 1 and 2 Timothy). For those who don't know Mike, he was a Vicar in both London and Sheffield and now lives in the US. This book tells his amazing story and is his 'this is everything I've learnt so far' work on what it means to follow Jesus and live out his mission in a post-Christian western culture. I would place it in the 'you must have read this or I won't ordain you' category for Ordinands. It's a very thought-provoking read and it makes me so sad that the C of E failed to make him a Bishop. Surely we need his like and leadership in these days?

For those who won't get around to reading this, you may instead like to check out this post by Timmy Brister called 'From Strangers to Missionaries: A Neighbourhood Strategy for Mission'. It's very 'missional' in tone and is worth reading, reading again slowly and then praying through and working out how you might implement some of its content.

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