Thursday, October 28, 2010

all smoke and mirrors, church meetings, missional ?

How is your churchboard meetings? Is it stiffy smoke-filled meetings around an oak table with a multimedia display ? It it a group of middleaged to older men, in black suits and white ties ? Is it an informal gathering around the coffee table at the house of one of the members, or in the coffeeshop during a lunchbreak?

The kind of setting, the formation, the rituals that goes along with the gathering, say a lot about the context of the faith community, but also the style of ministry. The question is however whether it say something about the missional identity ?

It seems that missional identity is something deeper, then simply being a reflection of the context and the change of style. A missional identity evolves over time, in line with the community's sensitivity to what God is doing. Hence the local dynamocs will play in, but it will not merely be a reflection of the context, it will also engage the context, as God is engaging that context. This will eventually have implications for the style, but not merely as a mirror to the life-world of the followers of Jesus.

Monday, October 11, 2010

new generations will retell the story with a remix

This weekend we as acommunity again shared, listened to our story, but also reflected on it. Its an ongoing journey, so we are simply jotting down some of the pointers.

For one, we choose to invest in relationships: with God, with each other, with our community. Churches with our history often get bogged down in an existing structure, tradition and story. In our case, its the history of the Dutch Reformed Mission.

Of course, this is enticing, as we can maintain the existing membership, rituals and identity. But its also dangerous. The membership grows old and the next generations does not necessarily choose to identify with the existing rituals and identity. Being born in a different era, forging a different generation, they value other things more, their rituals are different, they face different questions and choices.

It is in this context that we need to view the shifts towards relationships, informality, but more so a conscious choice to remain committed to the immediate community.

The newer generations will again give birth to new faces, expressions of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. They will challenge the existing forms and therefor growth has to be central to our identity and the rituals will have to facilitate and celebrate this journey.

Friday, October 08, 2010

a fine moment, a fine man

Its perhaps one of the finest moments for a faithcommunity when her children grows in maturity. The current challenges for congregations are daunting. Yet, it remains a hopeful journey, a faithfilled journey to continue to nurture and mentor young people, in ministry.

When Rev MAS Fisher was conducted last weekend, as presiding minister within Eldorado Park, a young man coming from Riverlea, it was testimony to the various faith communities, role-models and family members that shaped his journey. In his acceptance speech Rev Fisher, mentioned various individuals who shaped him, and he indicated that it was indeed a village who raised this child.

May we learn, again, that God is at work, in communities, raising up and nurturing his leaders for a time such as this..this is an ongoing journey towards maturity; this is the finest moments in Gods dream...