Where do we start? Part 1

As congregations face the future they often ask me “Where do we start…?”

This is an important question as we face the future. First step in the journey is a recognition that something needs to be different.

Often the second part of the question is “where do we start so we can get new members?”  Probably that is not the question to ask as you begin the journey into the future.  Focusing on filling the pews,  growing the Sunday School or more people to pay the bills leads in the wrong direction.  Focusing on this question looks backwards to the world we once knew, not to the future that God has for us.

Reframe the question. “Where do we start in order to understand where God is calling us in mission and ministry?” Reframing the questions to focus on God’s call and God’s ministry is the place to start.

Moving forward into the future means to focus on what God wants and not on what we want or where we want to go?

Okay. Where do we start to discover where God is calling?

It is not just one thing but many small steps that point in the direction of discerning God’s call.

First Steps – Engage in the Missional Practices

God is calling us into ministry that takes us from our pews and out into the world. The Missional Practices prepare us and our congregations to engage in that ministry in authentic ways.

Dwelling in the Word is the practice of immersing yourselves in the Word so that it shapes your imagination, intentions and actions.

Hospitality creates a safe space and forms a multicultural/generational Christian community for God’s mission in the world.

Announcing the Kingdom of God is the practice of noticing what God is doing in your life and your community and naming and claiming God’s action.

Focus on Missional Action is the practice of focusing your energy and attention on actions that move your further into God’s mission in the world.

Dwelling in the World is noticing God’s at work in the world and meeting the people God is sending you to. God is up to something and calls us to be part of the God’s work in the world.

Spiritual Discernment is the practice of planning and decision making as a community by listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through all of us.

Soon we will be offering an opportunity for your congregation to learn and engage in the Missional Practices. Watch our weekly newsletter for more information coming soon.