A few things I'm learning about church & mission as a church minister. Nothing probably surprising.
Most Christians if we are honest are not missional – concerned more for ‘me and mine’
Need to create crossing places – blurred encounters – where it not clear always what is church and what is not
Can’t do it at arms’ length
Can’t presume to have all (or any of) the solutions
It’s costly – but not necessarily financially
It’s a long-term commitment, it requires more than a day or week or even a few years
Need to be passionate about following Jesus, gospel emerges out of that (so not principally passionate about preaching the gospel, subtle difference) ...
Hospitality is vital – people feeling welcomed & invited & remembered, allowed to be, listened too
Need imagination and creativity (which sometimes seems difficult to find in our churches)
Mission is mostly not separate from pastoral care; mission often follows from being a person who is willing to listen to another person’s story
Social action is always messy (when helping hurts), because it contains a politics, e.g. foodbank
Church needs to foster a positive public profile in community – known to be a welcoming, trusted, generous community
The task seems huge, impossible, overwhelming and so need to constantly be reminded that we are called to be disciples not heroes, i.e. the mission isn’t ours, we are co-opted co-workers/partners of God
There is a lot difference in being a Christian and not, and at the same time, there is no difference at all – ‘we are all beggars before God’ (St. Augustine)
Potential of ‘weak ties’ – churches and Christians have lots of ‘weak ties’ – relationships that are never nurtured, developed (e.g. building hirers)