Friday, 4 September 2009

Building Missionary Churches 7 - Training and resources

To build mission-focused communities, as churches and individually, we need to avoid ‘giving fatigue’. We will need to continue to raise millions of pounds together, to fulfil our vision of 1,000 churches in the UK alone, as well as releasing millions of pounds into our global mission.

To build mission-focused communities we need to ensure that we identify, recruit and train leaders to have mission focus and skills. Our training programmes should continue to be flexible in achieving our goal. Interestingly, Prof Leslie J Francis in an article in Quadrant magazine states “Once ministry in the UK becomes reconceptualised in terms of growing new churches… then the leadership qualities prized by the churches’ selection criteria may also need to be revisited.” I could not agree more.

As the family of Newfrontiers continues to grow (we now have churches in over 40 nations), we will increasingly begin to operate like a missionary society, in the sense that we will be an apostolic people, a sent community.
But rather than sending our people off to a particular para-church organisation, we will look to the over-arching ministry of the apostolic to provide direction to our ever increasing army of young disciples who have the nations of the earth on their heart.

Para-church organisations are aware of such a phenomenon, and Global Connections very graciously asked Dave Devenish to address them, as David records in What on Earth is the Church for? - p55.

“I was asked to speak about church-based mission. My brief was to be as controversial as possible and to raise the very real issue concerning whether there is a future for mission agencies, now that the local church is beginning to take on its responsibilities for world mission.”

His whole chapter on church-based mission is well worth a read.