June 2015

A Missionary People?


St Michael’s Church in Daws Heath was the beautiful setting for our latest Away Afternoon in May. The recently built exposed wooden Church and hall set in the forest allowed us to truly take some time out as Rev Peter Ball, Synod Training and Development Officer, posed some perceptive questions.

Finding ourselves living in uncertain and fast changing times none of us can know how the landscape will look in even a few years. Church life and especially our mission feels unfamiliar and many look back to a time of familiarity that no longer exists. What is the world we are trying to connect with really wanting, and how do we go about it?

We looked at scripture, mainly Matthew 28:16:20 and examined what we could learn as a congregation from Jesus’ Great Commission. Peter observed 4 things from the passage:

1). The Holy Spirit/Divine power is assumed.
2). The task of making disciples is entrusted to hesitant and doubting people.
3). The practice of learning is not limited to believers.
4). There is a challenge in living the faith out in full view of others.

In groups we then discussed two related questions:

1). How are we crossing boundaries individually and as a church?
2). How do we ensure that “GO” is something we continually practice as individuals and a church?

We acknowledged that individuals from our church are active in the community, frequently crossing boundaries in service, but we were unsure if ‘the church’ was active or perceived to be active. There was a feeling by many that ‘Go’ frequently means ‘come to us’ and in our way of doing things.

It was a challenging day, and taking in the context of on-going discussion at Church Meeting of how we are using our resources of time, money and people, was a salutary reminder that we are not called as a Church to make life comfortable, but called to serve our friends and community and in so doing share the message of God’s good news.

I guess we are still wrestling with the question: - Are we a missionary people or a people that want to be comfortable in the familiar?

 

David
June 2015