Changing Metaphor's of MIssionPresentation Transcript
Mission in Practice 2005 Mission in Practice 2005
Changing Metaphors of Mission
Mission in the Context of a Changing World
Mission in the Context of a New Set of Demands
Mission in the Context of New Set of Opportunities
Mission in the Context of Changing Metaphors
Context of a Changing World
The world we live in is changing rapidly
Romeo and Juliet (Franco Zeffarelli’s 1968 )
Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann’s 1996)
The ‘P’ Word
Two main responses
In their enthusiasm for all things postmodern, some Christians throw caution to the wind and uncritically hail the postmodern term as the panacea for everything that ails the church.
Other Christians pronounce an undiscerning anathema on anything postmodern, even railing against the postmodern condition as the chief enemy of the faith today.
The ‘P’ Word
Acts 13:14-43 Acts 14: 8-20 Acts 17:16-34
Context Of New Set Of Demands
In the post-Christian era, the medium is the message, and the medium of evangelism is regarded with extreme distaste by the surrounding culture….evangelism easily becomes the marketing ploy for Christianity akin to selling encyclopedias. Various techniques are used in a highly manipulative agenda designed to get prospective customers to “sign up”. This is about as far away from the story of Jesus of Nazareth as it is possible to get.”
Riddell, M. (1998) Threshold of the Future: Reforming the Church in the Post-Christian West. SPCK
“ The church by its very nature has an indissoluble relationship to the surrounding cultural context. This relationship defines the practical nature of its mission. But the reason for mission comes from somewhere else. To say it more theologically, Christology determines missiology, and missiology determines ecclesiology. It is absolutely vital that the church gets the order right”
Frost, M. and Hirsch, A. (2003) The Shape of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church
Demand to see authenticity
a sense of unity
seeing mission as God’s mission and not the churches
evangelism not as recruitment
Church Values v Kingdom Values
“ Kingdom people seek first the kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above the concerns of justice, mercy and truth. Church people think about how to get people into the church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; kingdom people work to see the church change the world” (Snyder 1983:11)
“ ...participate in mission is to participate in the movement of God’s love toward people, since God is a fountain of sending love” (Bosch 1991:390)
Context Of New Opportunities
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Romans 8:19 -21
“ A healthy church is a transforming community in both senses. It is a community that transforms those who belong to it…it also transforms the life of the community around it in slow but sure ways. And when it does these things it begins to be evangelistic without even trying too hard..” Tomlin, G (2003) Provocative Church. SPCK
"The Christian has neither right nor power to force salvation on people. Every attempt to impose the gospel by force, to run after people and to proselytise them, to use our own resources to arrange the salvation of other people is both futile and dangerous....our easy trafficking with the word of cheap grace simply bores the world to disgust so that in the end it turns against those who try to force on it what it does not want." (pp 165) Bonhoeffer , D. (1937) The Cost of Discipleship. SCM
How can we expand community services that support those living on a tight budget, for example, lunch clubs and charity shops?
How can we tackle exclusion when we provide services for those at the margins of society?
How can we better support people seeking answers to spiritual questions?
Can we make our churches more family friendly places where people of all ages can worship God and discover more about his plan for their lives?
What more can we do to reconnect fragmented families?
How can we improve our work with young people and enhance our ability to bridge the generation gap?
Fragmented Community and Society
How can we ensure The Salvation Army maintains a presence in a wide variety of communities and has a socially diverse membership?
Existence-Communication “… our lives - our very existence - is our communication. Your existence as an authentic human being communicates more than what you say or even what you think The only essential sermon one can listen to and appropriate comes not from the pulpit via the minister's words but from one's own existence. Christianity is not a doctrine but an "existence communication." Sontag F (1979)
“ If believers are to make an impact in todays fractured and disoriented society, they will need to learn survival skills and themselves be transformed by the message they seek to communicate. Discipleship simply means the imitation of Christ. Through the first-century Thessalonian believers the gospel spread as imitators of Christ became examples to others, so that in every place their faith in God became known. ...'A disciple is one who embodies the message he or she proclaims. It was to people who were themselves disciples that Jesus gave the Great Commission to disciple the nations.” Gibbs, E. and Coffey, I (2001) Church Next: Quantum Changes in Christian Ministry. IVP
In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!-taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble. Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master's Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don't even have to say anything anymore--you're the message! 1 Thess 1:6-8
Mission in the context of Changing Metaphors Metaphor #1 :: Warrior to Gardener “ The difference between warriors and gardeners is significant. Warriors take territory by force; gardeners faithfully till and water the soil. While warriors are busy attacking, gardeners plant and fertilise”
Metaphor #2 :: Retailer to Wholesaler Big questions that face church today seem to include: How can we reach certain segments of the population? How can we be "relevant" to our culture? How can we get brand recognition in a crowded spiritual marketplace? The answer is almost always a cool new program or some kind of image overhaul. In many ways, we function like retailers-branding our goods.
Metaphor #3 :: Hero to Human
The traditional method of reaching not-yet-Christians has been to bludgeon them into a recognition of how broken they are. To crush their spirit. To tear them down and bring them to their knees… Instead of having such a combative, manipulative spirituality of engagement with others, we believe the church needs to recover a spirituality of engagement that whispers into the souls of not-yet-Christians. (Hirsch and Frost 2004)