A framework for starting something missional in your parish
The Church is still facing the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. When we think about the uncertain future of our churches we need to remember “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Just as Gabriel announced to Mary, we need to remind ourselves that when we are faced with something enormous and unprecedented God can birth something uniquely new in us. The Church is not supposed to be here for itself, but for God and the world. Often, we need to go to where the people are rather than expecting them to come to us.
Here are three quotes for you to consider:
- “Mission goes out from God. Mission is God’s way of loving and saving the world.”
- “Mission is the fundamental reality of our Christian life… Our life in this world is life in mission.”
- “Mission is the whole Church bringing the whole Christ to the whole world.”
When we think about our purpose as churches, we have to think from a missional perspective, but where to start? Unfortunately, there isn’t a “silver bullet” that will sort out falling church attendance, low giving and crumbling buildings; however there is a tried and tested ‘Missional Journey’ that can help start afresh and it looks like this:
- Listen: Through prayer and research, lovingly listen to God and to people round you in the parish.
- Love and Serve: Through listening, you prayerfully discover a simple way to love the people around you.
- Grow Community: You build community in the process of loving and serving your parish.
- Share Faith: As trust deepens, you find natural opportunities to share Jesus together, and start to explore faith.
- Shape Church: A new mission community with the character of church takes shape among those coming to faith, where they are.
- Repeat: New believers repeat the missional journey in new places with new people in new ways.
While there is a natural progression from stage to stage this doesn’t mean it’s prescriptive. You can find yourself going backwards and forwards, which is why the framework is centred on prayer, and underpinned by ongoing listening and a gracefilled relationship with the wider Church.
For help contact us through: www.dioceseofnorwich.org/churches/mission-enablers
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