At the start of Lent it is maybe worth facing not only a personal journey, but also- What if we changed the focus of attentions that seem to centrifugally suck us inwards to internal chruch issues, dymnamics and programmes and felt the centripetal force of the Holy Spirit 'send us out into the desert places'?
Mission and Discipleship of the Church of Scotland has the remit for Witness, the Church Without Walls team helps congregations to engage meaningfully with their communities, share the Christian story with confidence, and respond creatively to shifting cultural trends. There is Emerging Church too in different forms and places where the church has not been. There are stories from congregations engaging this way and YET...
Since 2009 The Diocese of Birmingham in the Cof E has undergone transformation very much aimed at a local level. Transforming Church has been shaping their vision and guiding them in the aim to be a Church that is growing ‘larger, wider, deeper and younger’ – a Church that is a transforming presence at the heart of our communities
They speak of 7 Areas of Transformation. Each parish is invited to explore Seven Areas and to develop the church’s mission in ways relevant and achievable in the local context.
Too ofetn we look for the remedy, the fix in mission via what someone else has developed. Nothing too wrong in that, but I think that the harder work that we find too challenging or frightening perhaps is that we resist the way that recognises God in this context, in our place and the 'demands' of the gospel and mission are to be discrened, worked out among us for the sake of the local place(s). The 7 areas are worth pondering and exploring as each carries some questions about who we are? How we are? Of course, the key is the resulting participation and action steps of mission.