“Christ’s Mission is Our Mission” sounds good,, but to make it a reality in our congregations, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what mission means. 7 Principles of Mission have been identified, and in the next few weeks, we will explore each.
The first principle of mission is “Encounter.” Mission begins with encountering God, directly. God’s nature is outward moving, toward each created individual. How do we encounter God? Through several ways:
1. Missional Practices such as “Dwelling in the Word,” “Centering Prayer,” the “Mission Prayer,” “Walking the Neighborhood,” journaling, and others (see previous Mission Tips). Through slowing down and taking time not only to talk TO God, but also to LISTEN for God’s vision for us. It is through such practices that the congregation’s unique mission will be made known through the Holy Spirit.
2. Developing relationships with individuals outside the congregation. Encountering those in the church’s community is not only about providing some charitable services; it is also about developing relationships with individuals over a long period of time. It is through getting to know those in the local community that needs are made known — which could include both physical, emotional, and spiritual – and our ministry will be more effective and caring. We notice in Jesus’ ministry that he took time to get to know individuals, such as the tax collector Zacchaeus (considered a “sinner”), to whom he said, “Today I will spend time with you at your house.”
Mission Tips come from Michigan Mission Center materials