Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It may seem obvious, but...

Mission is so easy if only....

Len Hjalmarson has written in his latest post about being neighbours....there's more to the post here.

In January of 2009 a group of pastors gathered to think and dream about what it would look like for the churches in their area to come together to serve the community. They asked the mayor to join them and talk about his dream for the city. They also asked him to talk about hindrances to that dream coming true.
He came with a list of pervasive issues and problems: at-risk kids; elderly shut-ins; decaying housing; hunger and homelessness. Before he started speaking he shared this: “it occurred to me that what our city really needs are good neighbours. The majority of the issues we face would be eliminated or drastically reduced if we could just become a community of people who are great neighbours.”
The pastors left convicted. Here they were asking the major what areas of the city were most in need, and he was telling them that the city could be transformed if Christians would simply live out the second half of the Great Commandment.
The plan they forged is simple — a teaching series on the art of neighbouring. They found that people don’t build relationships with their neighbours because,

1) they don’t see the value in it,
2) lack of time, and
3) lack of trust.

So they came up with this teaching series for this group of churches:
Week 1. taking Jesus seriously – what if Jesus really meant we should love our neighbors?
Week 2. Time: creating space to build relationships with neighbors
Week 3. Trust – embracing the messiness of relationships
They are then equipping their people to actually enter their neighbourhoods and live in them and build relationships.

Len also mentions an essay written by Todd Hiestand, which has apparently been unavailable for a while (it was written in 2007). It's called The Missional Church in Suburbia, and appears on Todd's site. It looks at mission in the urban society, and takes some similar approaches to those of the Australian, Simon Carey Holt.

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