Friday, 29 January 2010

Part 2 on Mission

So here is my next part on mission and what the church plant will seek to ground itself in.


This alternative community in Newton Abbot will seek to have at its core the Greatest Commandments to love God and love each other with all other things flowing in and out of this desire. For these commandments (worship and discipleship) to flourish and the alternative community to grow and find expression, a number of practical and spiritual principles that are outlined below, would be embraced and lived out.

Practical Outworking

Practical and Spiritual Principles

  • Forgiveness – Forgiveness means that we are not forever bound by the consequences of our actions. We can be set free. This new church plant would practically seek means of facilitating ‘forgiveness’ within the local community whilst also seeking to model it. Working with Transition Newton Abbot, the police, Young Devon, the town councils’ Community Officer and schools, the alternative community would search for ways in which local people can work together and find unity in their diversity and also know the love and forgiveness of God.
  • Taxes and Debts – A church plant would desire people to become free from the burden of debt. Cooperative economics and Transition Newton Abbot are just some of the ways in which this could happen (prophetic community).
  • Third Place – An alternative community would meet where those who don’t know Christ regularly meet in order that the church may become a part of the community and share Jesus with that community. By being in the third place we can actually journey with people and discover the joy and the pain of that community.
  • Discipleship – The goal of the Church is make disciples, not converts, therefore small groups would be encouraged to meet together in order that they may break bread together, study the Scriptures and support each other, looking for ways in which they may grow in Christ and be a blessing to the community around them.
  • Table Fellowship – Jesus dismantled the ideas of ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ by eating and partying with ‘sinners’ and those rejected by society. An alternative community would seek to welcome all people and eat with them. Meals and breaking bread would be a significant part of the church’s life, seeking to invite those with whom ‘inherited’ church is not able to reach or identify with. Not only that, but in a society that is increasingly dependant on ‘social networking’, this alternative community would develop and nurture the beauty of physically meeting together over a meal (inclusive community). ‘Crash’, a mission initiative I began, is a means through which the exploration of faith would happen over a meal.[1]

  • Sabbath – The culture we live in has become a 24/7 movement with people busier than ever. An alternative community would model the beauty of Sabbath. It would encourage people to rest and spend time with God and with those whom we love. Individuals and communities need to rest to fully become what God has created them to become. In resting we find food for our souls and bodies.

  • Healing – An alternative community would explore how to bring holistic healing within itself and into the Newton Abbot community. An alternative community must notice the pain within Newton Abbot and seek to address it. Who are the marginalized? Who are the oppressed? An alternative community would be a voice to the voiceless and to stand with those who are hurting (sacrificial community).

[1] 'Crash brings together 8-10 people from a variety of word-views and belief systems who meet to chat and discuss various issues while enjoying good food together. A guest speaker joins us and shares for 10 minutes about an issue that then enables conversations to begin. Then, over the meal, we talk, discuss, ask questions and see where the conversation takes us with the hope of finding common ground. It is called ‘Crash’ because so often in life two opposing views come crashing together and we try to salvage answers from among the wreckage. Crash seeks to be different and looks to enable different views to come together in such a way that enriches us all rather than tearing us apart.’

'Crash - We're so disconnected that we crash into each other just so we can feel something'

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