Becoming a “missional” congregation means adopting an outward-focused mindset, and becoming aware of needs in our communities through developing relationships with our neighbors. Our new hymnal, Community of Christ Sings, shows this missional emphasis through many songs that point us toward becoming “Christ-centered communities of justice and peace” (from Ron Harmon’s article in the February 2016 Herald). For this week’s “Leading Mission Tip” we suggest using CCS 590 – “When I can Ache” – as a spiritual practice to help us better understand Christ’s mission in our own neighborhoods.

A leader gathers the group together and explains that, “We are inviting the Holy Spirit to be in our midst as this song is read in a reflective way. As the phrases are slowly spoken, allow the Spirit to bring to your mind needs in our own community.” The leader will slowly speak each phrase, then pause for a few seconds between each – this is when we listen for the Spirit’s promptings. For instance: “When I can ache with hunger pangs”—3-5 second pause – “for those whose bowls are washed with tears” – 3-5 second pause – and so on through the song.

In a group setting, after experiencing the song as a spiritual practice, invite sharing of individual reflections that were brought to mind. Other CCS songs that are “missional” in nature are: #212 “God Weeps” – #616 “Brothers and Sisters of Mine” – #640 “I, the Lord of Sea and Sky” – #304 “Sometimes We Wait” – #302 “Beauty for Brokenness” – #303 “Till All the Jails Are Empty” – #282 “God Is Still Speaking.”

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