David Fitch has written an interesting post about Senior Pastor versus Community Organiser. He proposes three goals for the first one or two years of a new church plant. These goals got me thinking about the challenge of leading an established church into a new expression of church as a missional community. His three goals are:
- Establish a small community of fellowship in the neighbourhood who can pray together for the Kingdom.
- Get to know the neighbourhood.
- Facilitate hospitality.
Now, I'm not too worried about the actual details that he uses to define these three goals (although they are very valuable and interesting), but I am interested in how they might shape what it means to become a missional community from an established background. For example, reshaping the prayer focus of the church so that we spend more time praying for the local community, or rather for the kingdom to find expression in the community.
In other words these three goals seems to run counter to everything an established church might understand to be high on the agenda. So, instead of fretting about why people don't come to church anymore, we concern ourselves with connecting the church, ie the people, to the wider community, ie more people. They move us away from being programme bound and into relationships.
So much more to think about, but I have to get ready for a meeting, a deacons' meeting no less! How established church is that!!