The mission plan template is a self-assessment tool designed for church communities seeking to change their conversation from a ‘church’ conversation to a mission conversation. It is important to be able to take a mission and ministry dream or idea and shape it into an actionable plan. A mission plan process will enable you to work out how to move from the why to the what, the who how and when of your ministry dream.
The questions and thought starters are a way to begin describing the Identity, naming the Purpose, and discerning Futures for the church as a Community of Hope and Compassion.
Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania are deeply indebted to leaders and conversation partners who over many years have consistently invited everybody in the movement to ‘change the conversation’. Explicitly or implicitly this has often been in dialogue with Lesslie Newbigin’s challenging question from the late 1960s: “…what would be involved in a genuine missionary encounter between the gospel and the culture…?”
What then does it mean for a community to change the conversation in this season?
For many it could mean changing the conversation from a focus on ‘fixing the church’ (making it ‘healthy’, getting its governance right, finding ways to be financially sustainable etc) to a focus on mission (and engaging the neighbourhood as ‘local missionaries’, as a sign, witness and foretaste of God’s Kingdom). As others have written, it is Christology first, then Missiology, and finally Ecclesiology. Cultural circumstances and consequential anxieties constantly tempt us to put the last first. To put it another way, a good theology of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit will write our story around mission in our context, and thus propelled by mission, appropriate (and diverse) shapes of church will emerge. Mission will have a church, rather than a ‘church’ having a mission.
Participating in the process of developing a mission plan is a critical next step. This may involve the naming of current ministry and practice or the development of something new.
To engage in the Mission Plan (and Church Compass) discussion, contact the Communities Team or call 03 9488 8800.