|How to L-I-F-T Our Congregations in Mission?!?!?|
By Rev. Judith VanOsdol, Director for Evangelical Mission
All Call to each congregation to begin work on a strategic missional plan!!
"What is God calling this church to be and do in the future?"
"What changes are in order to help us respond most faithfully?"
These two burning questions began a process called "LIFT": Living Into the Future Together. I believe both are great questions for all of us to wrestle with, as leaders, individual congregations, and as an entire synod. How would we answer them?
In my travel around our Synod, I have often heard and am moved by the following statements:
More worrisome, I have also heard the following statements:
Wow! Do any of the above statements reflect thinking in your congregation? This is an indicator that it is TIME TO FOCUS ON OUR MISSION TOGETHER!!
During workshops around mission in our Deacon training programs as well as the Synod Assembly, we have discovered that WHEN CONGREGATIONS GET EXCITED ABOUT MISSION, THINGS TURN AROUND!!
A thought to ponder: the church Is the only institution that exists for the people who are NOT YET A PART OF IT! In other words, mission is not only essential to what we do, (activity) but it is who we are called to be (identity and call/ vocation) in Christ Jesus!
In other words, your DEM: Director for Evangelical Mission, has as my goal: working myself out of a job!-There will be so many trained and gifted mission directors in the synod, the call of the DEM will one day become obsolete!
Where to start??
The good news is that there are LOADS of information, materials, training events, websites, books, etc., on this process of renewal and mission planning!
Two additional resources: