In many churches this requires a radically new vision, new ways of thinking, and new patterns of behavior.
Implications for the church’s learning: How can we help one another to see more clearly – with the eyes of faith – to what is really real? How can we make the Christian practice of discerning God’s calling central to the on-going life of this church?
Our Church is a community formed by God and given a new identity in Jesus Christ, passionately pouring out our lives in grateful response to God’s abundant grace. Because every one of us is given the gift of the Holy Spirit, overflowing with God’s grace and light, full of gratitude and a spirit of collaboration, we are all empowered to join in the creation of a community where:
- Our Church is called to invite all people, both stranger and friend, into God’s love and grace by offering our gifts of hospitality and care
- Our love of God and our love of others are inseparable, and we use our gifts to demonstrate this love with respect and compassion.
- We Work to be a Community of Justice and Hope
- What declarations are you prepared to make about the possibilities for the future of your church?
- What is the choice you made by engaging in this conversation?
- What are your doubts and reservations?
- What promises are you willing to make to your peers?
- What gifts have you received from each other?
Put it into practice:
Read and share these two essays Faithful Imaginations and Discerning Community. Use these in small groups to help you cultivate faithful imagination and a discerning community. Consider the best ways to facilitate the sharing of the rich reflections and insights from the small groups with each other and the whole congregation. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are being given to all the members of the church. Creating space to listen and learn as you help one another to share their gifts.
What happens when we think of our church as more than a place or a program, but truly called people gifted and sent on a mission together? Every group and ministry in your church is a focal point where God is leading you to new life and faithfulness. The Center’s resource Cultivating Really Great Teams, supports all groups in forming themselves as gifted teams. You may also want to use the first meeting worksheets to facilitate team building.