This week’s “Leading Mission Tip” will consider how our congregations can become more Spirit-Led. In meetings, we have a natural tendency to focus primarily on problem solving and planning. However, if we want to live into God’s future we must allow God’s Spirit to lead. In congregational meetings, try reorienting so that 50% or more of the time is allocated to prayer, dwelling in scripture, silence, and imagining the future together. This will be a real stretch at first, but the nature of your meetings and results will change dramatically as you move toward the 50% goal.
Moving together in mission as a congregation may also benefit through trying the following approaches:
Coming together for fun and fellowship, which actually helps foster creativity and imagination;
Coming together in different venues. Consider having a service at a local park, or a congregational retreat at a campground;
Practicing prophetic imagination in community. “Walking the Neighborhood” (described in a Tip March 8). What needs do you see in your neighborhoods?
Allow time for congregational discussion of issues, making sure that “respectful dialogue” is maintained at all times (see the April 4 Tip).
Connect with local agencies that are reaching out to the marginalized and forgotten to hear the stories of what is really going on around us.
Becoming a “missional” congregation may require re-evaluating what we are doing and why we are doing it. Although it is always more comfortable to remain in established habits, if we are truly desirous of being Spirit-led, we must be willing to be disrupted. More on this in a later “Mission Tip”!*
*Ideas for “Leading Mission Tips” come from Michigan Mission Center materials.