Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Church that is community and missional

This is an extract  from the Church of Christ the King Blog. This is a quote by P. J  Smyth  the pastor of Godfirst .

This makes for excellent envisioning reading . May your heart be stirred for community and growth.

We need to look at what it means to be a Biblical Church and this means truly being a community on mission – we only need look to the Holy Trinity to see the perfect example of how community is done. 

We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to make us a family, one community together and a missional people, but we do need to strike a balance between being a community and being on mission. The Biblical church didn’t find it easy - Jesus was forsaken and overlooked at his most crucial moment of mission. The reality is that there are difficulties when there is an emphasis on community as this can lead to frustrations of there being a glass ceiling of growth and leadership development. 

Equally, an emphasis on mission can lead to people feeling overlooked. In a time where the church is in a season of advance, the people most likely to feel neglected and undervalued are those who have been around in the church for a while. So what are the solutions here? Not to abandon the mission. We need to liken ourselves to an ambulance rather than a hospital – we give great care but we are always moving forward. 

Increase honesty. We need to be honest with each other and with our leaders. Make others aware if you’re struggling with anything or anyone and don’t just suffer in silence. Try to do this in good spirit but if you can’t, do it with a bad one - it’s important to be honest, and those that listen to you will respond graciously. 

Increase organisation. In a small church, too much organisation can be damaging to relationships but in a large church like CCKthat’s going fast, too little organisation can be damaging. 

Increase number of leaders. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few and in a church like ours, growth can be held back by a lack of leaders. God will only give the harvest when there are enough leaders to care for those He brings. A great strategy it to ‘treble it’ – for example, if you are a small group leader, choose two other people to take with you to Zone team meetings to train them up and get them committed – later on you’ll have leaders ready for when small groups multiply. It’s important to remember that mission creates community and community fuels mission.

 Increase responsibility – are we involved or committed? Think of ham and eggs, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed! A good tip here is that when things are asked of you, just keep saying yes! 

Increase spirit. Be spirit-led in leading and pastoring people and when you think of someone who might need special care or encouragement, call or text them. 

Increase faith. Have faith for one another in Christ (Romans 15:14) and for the CCK mission and vision– when each individual has faith, it pleases and moves God. We also need to increase our faith into our giving, don’t excuse yourself as we each count. 

Increase hospitality. We must be hospitable in our spirit and in our homes.  Hospitality is huge in the Bible and is a requirement of us as Christians. It’s helpful to look at Church on Sunday like your lounge at home – you can relax and feel at home and welcome those who are new like old friends, give yourself completely to being loving and accepting.

 Increase playing to gifts. As we go multi-site it is especially important to maximise on what people are gifted in and use it well

P.J Smyth.

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