Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Backyard Missionaries Required for Down-South Ministry

Just over a year ago I published an advertisement calling for interested individuals and families to consider moving to our community in order to work with us (the local church) in order to help serve the community and grow the kingdom of God.

My original advertisement was edited by the leadership team and things about our location (on the beach, close to schools, golf course, etc.) were added in what was seen as necessary incentives to lure people to us. Our hopes, I guess, were centred on reinvigorating our flagging Sunday morning service and adding some new goods and services to our menu of programs.

I knew that Sunday morning services were not the key to our success as a church. I had been preaching and talking about this for several years with our members and leaders, but I allowed myself, for a moment, to fall back into the old attractional way of thinking - maybe if we just gave it one more shot, maybe if we just found a few musicians for our one-woman-band, we might at least be able to attract back some of the local Christians who had abandoned us for the mega-church down the road, or the Christian families who move to town and don't even give us a look in?

The end result of our advertising? One reply - an older guy looking to retire somewhere on the coast, who mistakenly thought we were looking for a pastor and was prepared to offer his services to us free of charge. And that was it.

On the upside our ad sparked a debate on a prominent Aussie blog which made me look harder at something called the "emerging church". Little did I know that the road God had me travelling was very close to that of many others who were now associating themselves with the emerging-missional movement.

Today - well, things haven't changed much, except that I have a new vocabulary which I have been able to share with the leadership team, and I am now on a not-so-lonely journey, with our leadership now among the fellow travelers on this missional adventure. But we are still resource strapped.

So, 12 months on we are trying again - but this time with a revamped "want ad". Feel free to distribute it, publicaly argue about, debate it or slam it!

Are you being called to a cross-cultural mission-field in your own backyard?

If you know the words “missional” and “emerging”, see the kingdom of heaven as something more than just a future event, and understand that sharing the gospel involves living it as much as speaking it, then we would like to hear from you.

Our community suffers from disease and poverty, but our diseases are those of affluence and our poverty is spiritual. Overall our biggest problem is apathy – but we aren't sure that anyone cares?

We are a small number of Jesus’ followers with faith in the power of Jesus Christ to transform our town, however, while the harvest is plentiful the workers are few.

If you think this could be the thing for you and would like more information you can Skype our ministry team leader (Andrew) on deepsky1971, email him at, call him during the day on 0413 995 280 or at home on 9720 1215.


upstream said...

I wish you well with this Andrew, but I am increasingly pessimistic about people signing up to join us as missionaries.

One of my disciplines is to pray eah day at 10.02 (from Luke 10:2) asking God for more missionaries - but there haven't been any takers yet.

I see people 'looking for a church', but not many can conceieve of themselves as missionaries

The Creature said...

Hammo, I share your pessimism - but why is it like this? Why is it so hard to find people who think like this? Are we just completely wrong about all this?

I have always been a bit of a rebel. If someone tells me I can't do something or tries to put me in a box I come out fighting - sometimes I think just for the sake of it.

I wonder sometimes if that isn't just what I'm doing now - rebelling against the institution. But it does just seem so right - the theory, with the exception perhaps of "measurable outcomes", matches my experiences.

I dunno ... I am looking forward to July and hanging out with you guys at the intensive and hearing from others.

upstream said...

We often talk about this in our forge gatherings. 'Why are we such a minority?'

I think its simply because we are challenging the dominant paradigm and it doesn't like it.

We are asking people to think, and to work and to question.

Most people are to busy to do any of these so they just float along in Christian limboland going to church, home group and serving on the sound desk.

It is easier than getting deeply involved in your community and radically reconfiguring your life.

So in my opinion its partly laziness and partly fear of stepping outside the religious boundaries.

one of my very serious questions is whether an established church can genuinely acquire a missional incarantional posture while retaining the sunday service as central. I'd like to believe it can be done, but I am extremely skeptical. i guess we will find out nextyear as we attempt some transformations :)