Re-imagineering a Missionary Community

For those who may be interested in what we are doing at Quinns Baptist here is a bit of an update. Our ‘brief’ on starting work with Quinns was ‘to provide leadership’. That was pretty much it. “Be yourself and give us some decent leadership.”

I guess we may each interpret that in many different ways…

For us we have said from the ‘get go’ that at heart we are missionaries and will be seeking to help the church re-imagine itself as a community of missionaries in the western world.

The first two months have zoomed by and our goals in that time were simply to find our way and get to know a few people. We seem to have done ok on that front.

Now that school is back and people are back into their regular rhythms we are beginning the process of helping people understand what we mean by a missionary community both cognitively and practically. Maybe there shouldn’t be a ‘cognitive/practical’ difference but it seems there always is!

As well as teaching thru some core concepts over the next 8 weeks we will be holding some fortnightly open forum discussion nights in our home where people can come and thrash around some of what was presented on Sunday. It will be a chance for anyone present to come and dig deeper, disagree or just clarify what we are proposing.

The 8 weeks will finish with a visit from Phil McCredden for a half day seminar and then a church conference the following Saturday where we will chart a course of action for the 6 months while we are away.

This ‘course of action’ assumes of course that people will want to head in the direction we are proposing… If not then we may be away a bit longer than 6 months!

It has been a huge challenge to try and distill our understanding of missional communities into a tight 8 week slot. In fact its impossible – but in the process we have had to decide what our priorities are and what we can let slide.

As well as the information, we are keen to help people learn in different ways and to tinker with the format of the Sunday service. I started meeting with a team of people today and one of the first questions I asked them was ‘If you were starting church over again would you do it like you do now?’ Their response – ‘it would be very different!’ The reason nothing had been changed was because – quite simply – no one likes to rock the boat so everyone had just followed on from the example set by those who had gone before.

We are going to be messing around with the core stuff on Sundays and hopefully helping people learn, worship and be together in a variety of different ways. I would also like to get some homework assignments happening, but the realist in me knows there is more chance finding tits on a bull…

The format we are working off like this:

Sun Feb 1 The End of The World As We Know It

Why ‘business as usual’ will not fix the western church, but some thoughts as to where we might be able to start. We started this last Sunday and looked at Paul’s different method’s for connecting with Jews v Greeks and suggested that this is a ‘Greek’ world we are living in. ie mission is cross cultural and that will shape how we do it.

Sun Feb 8 Amnesia or Alzhiemers?

Have we forgotten who we are or just lost our minds?… Reconnecting with our true identity as the people of God and sharing in God’s dream for this world.

Tue Feb 10 Discussion & Interaction

Sun Feb 15 Disturbing Beauty

Why is it that genuinely spiritual people seem to be more attractive to others?… We’ll be exploring the powerful allure of a Jesus centred spirituality and looking at ways we can nurture our own spiritual vitality. Lots of interactive spiritual experiences here today!

Sun Feb 22 Why Church Must Be Small

In church life it seems that ‘bigger is always better’ but is it really? Perhaps it depends on what we are trying to do… On this day we will try to convince you that for the church to genuinely accomplish its mission its primary expression must be small.

Tue Feb 24 Discussion & Interaction dude where s my car dvdrip

Sun Mar 1 Why Nice People Don’t Cut It (And Never Will)

How did ‘Christian’ end up getting being equated with ‘nice’… and is that really what God hopes for us?… If that’s the end game then let’s quit now, but what if it’s about something more gutsy and inspiring?…

Sun Mar 8 A Daring Adventure or Nothing at All…

Re-capturing the spirit of adventurous living that was originally intended to be the life of faith.

Tue Mar 10 Discussion & Interaction

wargames the dead code free

Sun Mar 15 Living Upstream

Looking at Jesus’ challenge to ‘take up the cross’ and live counter-culturally in the suburbs. What can we do to live lives that are engaged yet distinct?

Sun Mar 22 Worth Giving Your Life For?

We all give our hearts and lives to something… Is it worth it?

Sun Mar 29 College Sunday

College Sunday is a great opportunity for all of us to connect with and serve the school community as they join with us.

Afternoon Seminar with Phil McCredden (3.30-8.00)

In the afternoon Phil McCredden of Northern Community Church of Christ in Victoria will be with us to share the story of how they resurrected a dying congregation and made it into a vibrant healthy missional community. We will have two sessions with Phil as well as dinner in between.

Sat Apr 4 Off the Map – A Church Focus Day (1.30-5.00) ice pirates the divx

On this day we will bring together what has been presented over the previous months and begin to make some decisions as to how we will move forwards as a church. This will be an important and pivotal gathering for us.

So there you have it. For those who may be wondering what we are up to and how we are going about the process of helping a church focus on developing a missional identity, its focused around teaching, small group discussion and a lot meetings with people one to one or ‘one to a few’.

10 thoughts on “Re-imagineering a Missionary Community

  1. I’m half a world away (North Yorks- Britain)- but this really intrigues me- will you be posting some more notes week by week of what you did? I’d welcome being able to reflect on it.

    Really like your blogs and provocative and engaging thoughts!

  2. Stop, stop now…your tempting me to church hop:P

    Sounds really interesting, challenging and overall GOOD. You guys are in my thoughts, I look forward to following your journey.

  3. I’ll go a step further than Graham. I ride an exercise bike most mornings. Would you be recording those messages and putting them online? I’d love to download them onto my son’s ipod and listen to them while I ride.

  4. The challenge is on.

    Righto Hamo – I’d like you to come down to my house every Monday night (I’ll supply dinner, wine & coffee) and you can re-present your talks to me and my assembled throng.

    Will a $30 blessing be enough to cover your fuel expenses?


  5. Great to see what’s going on up there.

    As someone already noted…would you be wacking you stuff up here for all of us to glean? Would be sorta nice:)

    Keep up the sweet sweet work

  6. Hi fellas – at the moment this is bare bones teaching and we aren’t actually ‘doing’ much right now by way of intentional mission.

    I guess currently this is us offering a direction and come April we will know if this is the way we will head together.

    As we get towards April we will be nailing some ‘what now?’ stuff, but my experience tells me this could be quite difficult to quantify.

    Toddy – I think I should have a home in Busso I have been there so often this last 12 months!

    I’m not planning on uploading any talks. Its quite intentional. I feel like a conversation is taking place between our (church) family and I don’t want to broadcast that. If it were just boring ole sermons that might be different 🙂

  7. Great little plan you got there, Hamo. Only a plan, of course, and sometimes things don’t always go as you would hope, but if you’ve got a bunch of people willing to go along with that then you’ll do alright.

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