Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from Mission Summit Conversations (June 2013)
- We need a kingdom perspective: change – it begins with us relationships (personal, build trust)
- It involves extreme Humility (servant mindset, missional church)
- How can local congregations “exegete” their communities?
- Local congregations need to: (1) “Exegete” our communities; then (2) “Season” our communities; and (3) Dare to do “seasoning” in partnership with other churches, faith groups, community groups.
- Experiments to exegete the community:
(1) engaging school officials regarding needs of children and youth
(2) talking to law enforcement folks about the critical needs they see in the community
(3) communicating with civic leaders
(4) surveying members of the community in creative ways
Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from the Mission Table (November 2013)
- There are risks in missional outreach; some members will voice resistance.
- People telling their stories of God’s work in their lives inspires others.
- We need to evangelize ourselves. Many people are unsure of what THEY believe
- Institutional growth cannot be the only goal
- It is easier to get people to do good deeds than it is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Transformation needs to happen within and without—individuals transformed to be part of a community of faith that is transformed, missional.
- Many churches are not ready to embrace the practice of being a missional church. They like the idea but resist the changes necessary to implement it.
- Are we afraid of evangelism or is it misunderstood?
- Is the goal to increase church ‘members’ or ‘believers’
- Evangelism has become too program related. Where is the joy?
- Transformed members need to tell their story, or have their stories told.
- Seek a missional remnant within a traditional congregation.
- Combination of invitation (inside) and outreach (outside) efforts
- Meet the need, then evangelize when the opportunity becomes available
- Possible Solutions:
- Invite neighborhood to yard sales, programs
- Educational programs
- ESL classes
- Food and clothing programs
- Community events
Continued Day 2 – Summary (November 2013)
- Evangelism is the foundation of everything we do, bringing people into relationship with Jesus Christ
- The importance of both personal evangelism and group evangelism as a church as people join the body.
- Do we listen to statistics telling us church attendance is declining and become discouraged or do we continue to work to bring people into relationship with Jesus Christ? Do we view this challenge from David or Goliath’s perspective?
- How is the church present in the local community to evangelize to the non-churched in the local community?
- Do we need to evangelize churches to get out into our communities?
- Transformed by the Spirit is changing the energy flow in the church from inward to outward
- Are some churches seen as “cave dwellers” constantly against virtually everything?
- Proposed Projects
- ABCUSA is working with regions through Transformed by the Spirit to pull together groups of churches to discuss adaptive changes that are needed.
Read the full notes:
Mission Summit Conversations:
Views expressed are the sole opinion of conversation participants. They do not express the views of American Baptist Churches USA, or individual American Baptist churches. Conversation notes and summaries are shared to allow American Baptists and friends to easily review and use these Mission Summit Conversations and the Mission Table learnings as they wish.