PMC happens in three phases, each a year-long. As our year of listening (to God, to ourselves and our community) draws to a close, we move on to a year of experimenting. Two things will be happening simultaneously.
First, the steering team will be looking for ways to help the whole congregation grow in the six habits of a missional church. These are:
- Dwelling in the Word
- Corporate Spiritual Discernment
- Dwelling in the World
- Announcing the Kingdom
- Focus for Missional Action
We’ve already done some work on Dwelling in the Word and had a bring-and-share lunch where we practised Corporate Spiritual Discernment. The text for dwelling this year changes from Luke 10:1-12 to
2 Corinthians 4:1-12. Over the next few months, we’ll be looking to deepen our engagement with these first two and introduce three and four.
Dwelling in the World might sound mysterious or even a bit silly (where else would we live?) but the language is to remind us that the local church and its members are not meant to be detached from the local community. We’re called to be salt and light within it. This practise involves us in conversations with people who aren’t members of the church, without any agenda except to hear what are their hopes and dreams for Lady Bay.
Hospitality is pretty straightforward too. Except that while Christians might be quite good at offering hospitality, we’re often less keen to receive it (as Luke 10 invites us to). If the future of the Church depends on the hospitality of the world (as Luke 10 suggests), this is an important capacity to develop.
Second, a small group (known as the Mission Innovation Team or MIT) in this process will be taking forward our ‘missional challenge’. You may remember that there were two options that came out of our afternoon in the Test Match pub. We’re close to settling on one of those. We’ll let you know as soon as we do.
Members of the MIT will then begin their work by clarifying the missional challenge and then looking for partners in the wider community who might also have an interest in working on this challenge. They’ll work with those partners in trying some things out, some of which will work, and some of which won’t. We’re looking for ‘excellent failures’ from which we can learn and grow in being with our community. The MIT will share the story of what’s happening with the rest of the congregation as things unfold. Watch this space!