Tuesday, September 04, 2012

rich, full but stuffed: the Melbourne Manningham mission

The weekend in Melbourne with Manningham Uniting was a great experience – rich and full. I travelled with Team Taylor and it was great to be able to sneak some rest and relaxation in Melbourne with them. Thursday night included discovering a fabulous book shop in Lygon St. Like a moth to the flame!! Since I was speaking all day Saturday, we took time on Friday to go shopping. Each of us drew the name of another member of Team Taylor out of the hat and away we went. Fun!

Then a relaxed Father’s Day breakfast in the Melbourne sun on Sunday morning was just lovely.

At Manningham, I did about 7.5 hours of input, spread over 4 sessions

  • structures and leadership for mission
  • defining mission today
  • the local church in mission
  • engaging the community

There was excellent interaction at all of the sessions, some quality pushback and some very perceptive questions.  Their work on the Biblical texts around mission was some of the best I’ve experienced, as the Bible subverted agendas of colonisation and imperialism. Very rich.

I also preached Sunday afternoon. The story of Manningham Uniting is worth watching closely. It is 4 churches combining. Not because of decline, which is a common reason for merger. But rather because they sensed that together their mission might be enhanced. The shared resources are impressive, although to date the process has required a huge amount of internal listening and syncing. But the hope, the promise, the possibility, was expressed so eloquently to me on Sunday, by a recent retiree.

Being in mission is no longer sending money overseas. I’ve realised that being in local mission means being in relationships. It’s so exciting because it’s changed me.

That’s a gold quote, a reminder that in mission we as the church become more fully human. I flew back Sunday evening, feeling rich and full. But stuffed.

Posted by steve at 11:13 AM


  1. Thanks Steve, it was great to have you over to Melbourne and sharing with us. A lot of “Wow, he’s awesome” going around on Sat and plenty of people subsequently inspired even more than before!

    Comment by Stewart — September 4, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  2. Ah faint praise! Thanks Stewart. Nice to you – that faithful one reader of my blog 🙂 !


    Comment by steve — September 4, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

  3. Mmmmmmmmmmm


    Comment by Darren — September 5, 2012 @ 9:23 am

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