God’s Mission – Our Mission by Melanie J.S. Wallschlaeger CL7521 “The Missional Church” Doctor of Ministry in Congregation Mission and Leadership Development
Table of Contents • Project Purpose (Slide 3) • Presentation of “God’s Mission – Our Mission, Part I” given at All Team Meeting, Tuesday, September 15th, 2003. (Slides 4-28) • Presentation of “God’s Mission – Our Mission, Part II” to be used to guide Executive Team in reflection as we discern God’s calling (Slides 29-48) • Bibliography (Slide 49)
Project Purpose The purpose of this project is to serve as a guide for discussion regarding: 1. God’s mission 2. Our call as a congregation to participate in God’s mission It is my hope that this project will facilitate shared learning, conversation and discernment among lay leaders of Holy Cross.
God’s Mission – Our MissionPart I An exploration of our call in community.
What is “mission”? Mission implies: • A sender • One(s) being sent • An assignment David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991) 1. Cartoon: Homiletics Volume 14, Number 3, May-June, 2002, 56.
What is “mission”? When we think of mission, we tend to think of: • Overseas missionaries • Work of a committee • Specific programs/activities • Statements of purpose used in the “business world.”
What is mission? But mission is more than an activity or a program…it is our very being as we are created in the image of God.
Missio Dei The God we worship is a God in mission. We have a mission…a mission made possible only because it is called into being as a result of God’s mission. Ubuntu “I am, because you are… We are because Christ is.”
Missio Dei God’s reign – both future and present… NOW & NOT YET Jesus spoke of the reality of God’s presence. “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) “the kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21) “If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” (Matthew 12:28) Jesus spoke of God’s reign yet to come. “Thy kingdom come…” David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2002) 32-33.
Missio Dei • God’s ministry is in the “now and the yet to come.” Then, why is it so easy for us to get stuck in the past? • “You are setting your mind noton divine things, but on human things.” - Jesus
What is the purpose of a mission statement? • To share an understanding of our communal identity as God’s people. • To explore who we are as God’s people living in this specific time and context. • To inspire (guide) to action – to guide us as we seek to live into the identity of who God has created us to be.
Baptismal Identity “It is not water that does these things, but God’s Word with the water and our trust in this Word. Water alone is only water, but with the Word of God it is a life-giving water which by grace gives the new birth through the Holy Spirit.” The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther Photo courtesy of Angela Smith
Communal Identity “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.” The Third Article The Apostle’s Creed Photo courtesy of Angela Smith
How do we discern our God-given mission? • History – 15 years of exciting growth that has often demanded change. • Biblical witness – Missional nature of Matthew and Acts, the call of the early disciples/apostle and how that call was lived out. • Values – tradition is at the top of the list. • Context – young, mobile, energetic, building/construction is an ever present reality.
Who is to discern our God-given mission? God – “Come, Holy Spirit, come!” Leaders (that’s you!) People of Holy Cross
Matthew 28:16-20 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.
3 Common Misinterpretations ofthe Gospel of Matthew • It did not apply to the priesthood of all believers – only to clergy. • Impossible to obey the demands of Jesus outlined in chapters. • Attitudes more important than actions. David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2002) 69.
“make disciples” “Disciple” appears 73 times in the Matthew, while occuring 46 times in Mark and 37 times in Luke. “Make disciples” occurs 4 times in NT – 3 of which are in Matthew. “Disciples” does not refer to merely the 12 disciples in Matthew (as it does for Mark and Luke) – but also to the disciples that are to follow. Distinguishing marks of disciples: They live in relationship with Jesus Christ. They live in expectation of God’s reign. (5:20) They are “salt of the earth” and “light of the world.” (5:13) David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 73-74.
“baptize” Forgiveness is a central idea for Matthew. 6:12, 6:14f, 26:28 “What God has done in Christ – the forgiveness of sins – is the point of departure of the new life of the disciple and is being sealed in the act of baptism.” -- David Bosch David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 79.
“teach” Jesus teaches the disciples, he does not preach to them. For JC, teaching is not “merely an intellectual enterprise” – it is a “call for a concrete decision to follow him and submit to God’s will.” Context of JC’s teaching is not the classroom, but the world. David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 65-68.
“to obey all…” • Sermon on the Mount Disciples called to live out of step with society. Love of God & love of neighbor becomes the two fold commandment to love. Go hand in hand. To believe and understand is to move to an active commitment that flows into deeds. David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, 65-68.
“Go therefore” • Authority of Jesus over all is already implied in this phrase. • “If Jesus is indeed Lord of all, this reality just has to be proclaimed,” (David Bosch, p 78).
Who are we called to be? • In light of the Biblical text… How do you think God is calling us, challenging us, to see our God-given mission? What are key verbs that should guide and shape our self understanding?
God’s Mission – Our MissionPart II An exploration of our call in community.
Missio Dei “Because God is a missionary God, God’s people are a missionary people. The church’s mission is not secondary to its being; the church exists in being sent and in building up itself for its mission,” (Bosch, Believing in the Future, 1995, p 32). Ubuntu “I am, because you are… We are because Christ is.”
“Mission is not a burden laid upon the church; it is a gift and a promise to the church that is faithful. The command arises from the gift. Jesus reigns and all authority has been given to him in earth and heaven. When we understand that, we shall not need to be told to let it be known. Rather, we shall not be able to keep silent.” (Lesslie Newbigin, Mission in Christ’s Way, 40) Missio Dei
Missio Dei UBUNTU – We are, because Christ is. Our focus is not on, What do we want? But rather, What does God want for us?
Biblical Witness Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.
Matthew 28:16-20 • Go! – “sentness” for us and the disciples • Called to make disciples • Called to baptize and teach • God does not send us alone
Biblical Witness Acts 2:41-47 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.
Acts 2:41-47 • Faith lived out at temple, home and community • All who believed had common bond/unity • Generosity with one another and beyond • Baptisms and devotion to the apostle’s teaching • Signs, wonders, and prayer
Sacred or secular? “In some societies the Church had a hard battle to rid itself of the insiduous distinction drawn between ‘holy’ and ‘non-holy’ things” (J. Andrew Kirk, What is Mission?, p 213) Sacred: special realm of life, “spiritual” to do with religious events, places, things to be treated with care. Secular: ordinary things, worldly, material
Sacred or secular? “From a Christian perspective this distinction is false. The secular, understood as the legitimate tasks of ordinary life – family, work, scientific investigation, gardening, hobbies, leisure, friendships, political tasks, service in the community – is sacred.” “The sacred is not another reality distinct from this… Encounter with God is possible in any place.” (J. Andrew Kirk, What is Mission?, p 213-214)
“To speak and live the gospel of Jesus Christ so that others might be drawn to Him and His Church.” How is God calling us to look beyond our congregational boundaries into the greater needs of the local/world community? In other words, how can we reorient the congregation to look outward, rather than only inward? How can we help the people of Holy Cross see God at work in every aspect of life? Come, Holy Spirit Come…
Prince of Peace, Burnsville The Prince of Peace Vision: A thriving discipleship community that changes lives and leads society by growing passionate followers of Jesus Christ in every generation. The Prince of Peace Mission: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church exists to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) who pray, worship, read the Bible, serve, relate to others for spiritual growth, and give a tithe and beyond – PoWeR SuRGe. Core Values: Discipleship, Integrity, Evangelism, Community
Vision Statement: How has God (and is God) equipping us for participation in the Missio Dei?
Mission Statement How are we going to live more fully into the call that God has given us? What are some words that might identify the action/response to which God calls us?
Attentive Authentic (2x) Caring Charity Christ-centered Community Compassion Courageous Education Empowered Energy Faith-filled Family (5x) Fellowship (2x) Forgiveness (2x) Generosity Golden Rule Grace (2x) Hospitality Humility Inclusiveness (2x) Intergenerational Integrity Love (3x) Mentoring Motivating Music Ministry Open Minded Ownership (2x) Passionate Prayer Safety Scripture based Serving Sharing Teaching Tolerance Tradition (5x) Transparent Trust (3x) Vision Oriented Word & Sacrament Values
Tradition (5x) Family (5x) Trust (3x) Love (3x) Authentic (2x) Fellowship (2x) Forgiveness (2x) Grace (2x) Inclusiveness (2x) Ownership (2x) Values named by more than one group
Core Values What values do we share as a community as we live out our shared mission and vision?
God, give us good courage Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Martin Luther’s Morning Prayer, Lutheran Book of Worship, 137.
Bibliography • Bosch, David J. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991. • Bosch, David J. Believing in the Future: Toward a Missiology of Western Culture, Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1994. • Homiletics Journal, Volume 14, Number 3, May-June, 2003. • Homiletics Journal, Volume 13, Number 4, July-August, 2003. • Kirk, J. Andrew. What is Mission?: Theological Explorations, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000. • Kise, Jane A.G., LifeKeys Leadership Workshop, July 2002. • Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989. • Newbigin, Lesslie. Mission in Christ’s Way Bible Studies, Geneva, Switzerland: World Council of Churches, 1987. • Wendt, Harry. See Through the Scriptures, Minneapolis, MN: Crossways International, 2003.