Thursday, 29 April 2010

From engagement to missionary

We have just been going through what promises to be the last parish review and accountability process known as the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. In my reflections I am aware that as a church over the last couple of years we have become engaged once more with the world around us, much more outward looking, with many more relationships that we are able to engage with. This is good. But it is not great. What is great is to be a missionary church, making disciples and seeing transformed lives, environments and workplaces. Engagement can be done through the activity of casting vision, energy put into relationships IN the church, and the taking advantage of certain opportunities in the local area. Engagement can be developed from the energy and gifting of one or two people. Missionary church comes when discipleship is engaged with, when there is a growth in the numbers of leaders, and where people work together to do the fishing that Jesus says he will teach us to do.
Last Central Gathering I talked about the way we see something really crucial in John 21. Peter DECIDES to go fishing, the others AGREE to go with him and Jesus DIRECTS them to the right side where they then find a very big catch of fish. It seems to me that this is the process of leadership & becoming missional - somebody needs to DECIDE to go fishing, others need to AGREE to go with them and then they need to be dependent upon Jesus DIRECTING them to the right side to fish. It is certainly proving to be the way in which we are developing and releasing MSCs.There has to be this act of faith in becoming missionary that places reliance on hearing and following the direction of the Lord. There have to be disciples making the decision to get in a boat and go. There have to be people who agree to go with the person who has made the decision.
Have I/we got the faith to believe that after we have fished all night without any success that the Lord will direct us to the right side?

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