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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Real

There is a heading in the Mission Initiatives brochure that has stayed with me. That heading is Mission Made Real. The phrase resonates with me because it so clearly and succinctly states what we as a church are called to do. To make mission real means to transform an idea into practical expression. It is to take it out of the realm of the merely theoretical, a good idea we reflect on from time to time, and make it an actual, physical, living expression of that idea.

Making the theoretical real is not a new idea. It is sometimes referred to as incarnation or transformation. In its grand, theological sense, it is what Jesus has done in demonstrating the nature of God. It is why we say he is the “Word made flesh.”

Making Mission Real is the task the Christian community is always called to. This call may take different forms in different ages, but it always remains before us. How can we take the words or ideas and make them a real, physical, living expression of God’s love and will for creation? It is the task that is before us now.

To merely hear or read the words and not deeply reflect on their meaning, to do nothing, is to ignore the gentle but urgent call of the Divine. In some extreme cases, we may want to run away to avoid that call, rather like Jonah seeking to avoid his mission to Nineveh. But the call of God is persistent, and the task is always before us. Every Christian and especially every congregation is faced with the challenge. The questions become, how shall we Invite People to Christ? How can our congregation Abolish Poverty and End Suffering? How shall we Promote Peace on Earth? And, as always, the questions continue.

The need to make mission real is what lies behind the five goals of the CEM 2020 Vision. It is the call of the five mission initiatives articulated by President Veazey in his April 10th sermon. It is the task that lies before every congregation. How shall we respond?

Posted by Carman

3 comments:

  1. Carman,
    I appreciate very much your thoughts on making mission real and incarnational ministry. I would love to see a place or forum where individuals could share online what they are doing to make mission real, either individually, in small groups or in congregational life. It could provide encouragement as well as challenge to all of us who want desperately to live out our call to share in Christ’s mission.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Kris

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi everyone:

    Our partners at Barrie Community of Christ and me are investing some time to discover who God is calling us to be today. Not so surprising, this is not an easy task.

    We noticed that we are living out our discipleship in Christ daily and that what we’ve grown is more a lifestyle than a congregation.

    Making mission real is not about to come about by one-time events or a new programs. Mission will be real when we adopt a missional attitude in our personal lives.

    One project some partners are working is developing a Barrie Community of Christ website. One part is to create a logo and motto. I can’t believe how difficult it was for us to come to a joint decision, but we when we finally did, I absolutely loved it!
    Here is what we came up with …

    LIVING MISSION
    Barrie Community of Christ
    “Living Christ’s Mission today!”

    Do you understand how awesome this? A new group of our church wants to be known to the world as Living Mission. We are embracing a new attitude while honouring our tradition. I can’t wait to show you the finish product!

    Now, we still have something to prove. We still need find the ways we are going to live that mission. But talk about starting off on the right foot!

    Okay CEM … I’ve shared! What about your congregation? How are you making mission real?

    g.b.
    Matthew Swain

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Matt and Barrie. Let's see what we get from some other congregations.
    How are you all making Mission real?

    ReplyDelete