Every month we’ll be hearing from different people in the synod about what mission means to them. To start us off, who better than our Synod Evangelist, Mission Enabler, and LYCIG leader, Revd Ashley Evans.
The whole work of the body of Christ – connected
We can get confused about what mission is. Well, I believe that ‘Mission’ is the whole work of God in this world. To help us to understand it, it may be helpful to break it down. Let us first look at Matthew 28: 18-20. This passage is commonly known as ‘The Great Commission’ when Jesus gave his final instructions to his disciples and which is the start of our mission too:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We can think about the whole mission of the church today by breaking it down in to 3 areas – numerical growth, spiritual growth, and missional growth:
To engage in Mission we need to have a mission strategy
It has been said, ‘If we fail to plan, we plan to fail’. Einstein said that to repeat the same experiment, under the same conditions and expect a different result is a sign of madness. We can’t just carry on as we are and expect mission to just happen, so we need a mission strategy. In ‘Leading Your Church Into Growth’ we have a mission strategy that we call the ‘4Ps’:
Prayer: This means we need to specifically pray for growth, for example by using the LYCiG prayer for growth.
Presence: This means thinking about our physical presence in our community – both as a church and as individuals. Our mission starts with the people with whom we already have a relationship. We can develop these relationships by inviting people to fun events that give us more time and opportunity to have conversations and develop friendship.
Proclamation: This means the times when we share our faith in Christ Jesus with other people. This can be at special events such as BBQs, plays, multimedia events, mission-focused nights, gospel invitation events & services, or just in conversation with a friend.
Persuasion: This is just about inviting those people who are interested to take their journey exploring faith a bit further. This could be through enquirers or nurture courses, such as Alpha, the Start course, or Jesus Shaped People. It can also be by joining a House group or bible study.
Revd Ashley Evans
Many churches in the synod have taken part in Leading Your Church Into Growth (LYCIG). You can find out more on our website, or contact Ashley direct.