A few weeks back I was speaking with Herds, a member of our team about the year that’s been – our first year of living here in Brighton as missionaries.
It has been a challenge to make the shift from being a pastor and running a church to being a missionary and leading a missionary team, as well as developing Forge as well as teaching two days a week.
Part of the journey in coming here has been a committment to ‘figuring things out as we go’. The level of certainty that accompanies estabslished church practice simply cannot be part our experience because we are entering and walking thru new territory. To quote Paul Borden we are ‘building the bridge as we walk on it’, which requires a letting go of old practices and a ground up construction of a Christian community based on the context we are now in.
As a lover of strategic planning and clarity of direction this has been a huge challenge for me personally. At the end of the day all I can do is ‘get over it’ because this is the nature of what we have chosen to do.
We agreed that as the end of year approaches we need to take some time to do some reflect and review – assess whether we have done what we came here to do – if we have been true to our calling – what have we learnt – where have we done well – where have we struggled and failed.
I am hoping to have a friend come in and help us do that review – someone who knows us but can look more objectively than we may ourselves. A part of that review will be for each family to review their own year of mission and their own call to live here in Brighton.
This is something we never did in my experience of church. It was always assumed we would be there next year unless we moved house or got cheesed off. Of course we may still move, get cheesed off etc, but what I am hoping will happen is that in reviewing and making it more personal we may accept our part in the success or failure of what we do. ‘The church’ will cease to exist as an impersonal abstract entity and we will be required to reflect on ourselves and our part in the team.
Anyone else doing this?