Saturday, April 16, 2011

local church in mission. starts practically here

These represent the next step in a local church practical mission project I’m involved in – postcards – given out to the church this Sunday. The front, including google map of the community,

And on the back, four questions to consider, with plenty of blank space to write responses

Back in January I conducted a seminar, in which I suggested that in our contemporary world, a theology of mission must begin with two ears. To make that practical, I suggested a range of exercises

  • Listening project one – some growth questions to ask selected individuals
  • Listening project two – observation walks around the community
  • Listening project three – visual observation of the community, involving creating photo exhibits
  • Listening project four – some Appreciative inquiry questions

(for more see here).

The church decided to make this part of their Lenten process. People were encouraged to choose one exercise and, with joy, seek to put it into practice leading up to Easter. During Lent, when the church gathered, stories were told, including a number of folk putting their listening project 3, the visual observation, up on the screen during worship courtesy of PPT. Very cool.

So with Easter approaching, it’s time for the next step. The postcards are intended to help with the bottom nature of this project. This is not about a select group or the leaders, but the whole church who’ve been invited into mission with their ears. Now it’s the whole church, any and all, given a postcard and invited to record what happened.

These will be collated up and hopefully, at Pentecost, the results will be shared. And the question asked: given what we, all, have heard, how then might we need to act?

In working on this over the week, I realised that this is yet another example of church resourcing both scattered and gathered.

I’ve blogged about this a number of times over the last month, the need for church practically in how it shapes it life to be affirming God at work when the church gathers and God at work when the church scatters

  • a general introduction here
  • a specific pattern here
  • a worship treat here

This is a 4th example, in which the postcards affirm the church as both scattered, any and all engaged in practical listening, and gathered, being collected, collated, gathered as next steps in mission.

Posted by steve at 03:33 PM

1 Comment

  1. […] One church community who are in a listening process gave out postcards with questions about the local community on them to each person in their community for them to engage with during the coming weeks.  Read about it here. […]

    Pingback by Questions that Enable Listening for God in the Community « SU Neighbourhood Outreach — May 4, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

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