Category Archives: mission

The Church, Discipleship and Mission

It is the very nature of reconciled human community to become conformed to the image of Christ, to become his witness in the definite form of the church’s missionary service to the world. This determination of the human act is one in active correspondence to God’s very being …

The Witness of God, John G. Flett, Eerdmans, 2010, p. 195

The act of reconciliation makes humanity a witness. This is what it means to be a disciple. It is to be a witness. To be a disciple and learn from Christ is to mirror him, though without doubt in a cracked and distorted manner. Humanity witnesses to Christ in word and action individually and as follow him and so learn to as community.

Again, to be conformed to Christ’s image is to witness to him. In its nature, an image points to the original.

And how does this happen, this conformity, this mirroring, this reconciliation. It comes about through the work of the Holy Spirit. When? When the Father wills, yes, but perhaps the Father wills that our own witness, reconciliation, conformity to Christ, might be used by him to redirect others to God found in Christ?

But again, is there a key to the successful church, to the missionary church. Only that she should be herself, and not something else. There you have it. The problem was ecclesiology (enmeshed in a coherent theological whole of which one part can hardly simply be considered before another) all along. I told you so.

Science …

In the the last post I began to pull together some thoughts with regard to NYNO’s form of worship.

But worship is only aspect of NYNO’s identity.

Worship, community, discipleship, spirituality and mission – and maybe others too – are all areas in which we need to experiment and monitor and report.

It’s going to be helpful – for ourselves but also for speaking to funders – to be a little more structured in our planning for our research. And research is a good word to describe what we will be doing: introducing new ideas or ways of being church, practising them and evaluating them. We want to be able to say at the end of a period of experimentation, ‘We wanted to achieve this end, so we tried this and it worked/didn’t work for the following reason.’

So perhaps I need to return to my first year aims and objectives document and begin to split out some of the different tasks that lie ahead. We can’t do them all at once, but to choose the best one to start with we need to have thought what the others might be.