Monday, May 18, 2009

who is Opawa? mapping our mission

I’m constantly trying to map, or name, what God is doing among us as a church. I’m not a big “vision” person with large 10 year plans. Instead I try to listen to people and Scripture, to offer short term experiments, see what energy is released, and on that basis, go another experiment. Over time, patterns and priorities emerge. Now into our 6th year at Opawa, here is where we are up to – in pictures. You see, normally, I tell stories. But not everyone gets stories, so over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking pictures. How, in a diagram, could I map Opawa? Here is my current attempt …

For those of you going huh, here is the slow motion …

a) Opawa is about mission (reflecting Christ’s love) and we are hearing this challenge and sensing a need to respond in three broad areas.
– our living – simply being Christlike neighbours and work colleagues. At Opawa this is resourced through God at work group, spiritual practices, teaching, training.
– our creating – our larger scale citywide project, including Christmas Journey, Easter Journey, Pentecost.
– our loving – our local (Waltham) community, with a whole range of ways that we invest locally

Worship (enabling people to walk and grow)
– since one size no longer fits all, we have a multi-congregational approach. Currently we have 5 or 6 congregations, with another potentially forming. Each are a unique expression, helping people grow in relationship with God, with each other and outwardly.
– some congregations relate better than others to one particular form of our outward, mission, expression

Shared life (enabling people to walk and grow)
– we are not separate churches, but multiple congregations, that share life together. This includes leadership, seasons of prayer, facilities, discipling and growth opportunities (like Bible days or mid-week training, or lectionary readings).

And putting it all together takes up back to the first picture …

If I was clever and graphicy, I’d have a cross at the centre and I’d have another inner wheel, which includes our volunteers, Board, ministry leaders and bridge builders. And to repeat what I said at the start – this is always evolving and is bottom up. In coming to Opawa, I did not set out with some big strategy, but with some passions and intuitions, a belief that God could be at work and a willingness to trial and error.

Posted by steve at 09:54 PM

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