There are many challenges before us as local church minsters, including keeping our congregation in line with Christ’s mission while being relevant to the times and contexts in which we live! Other challenges journeying alongside the younger generations with an authentic experience and expression of Jesus and His Church for them as well as seeking to offer the Gospel to the ‘unchurched’ and ‘de-churched’ folk within our areas. God is doing an amazing thing and I am privileged to be a part of this.

 The best tool I have found for doing this is the ‘Mission Shaped Ministry’ Course under the banner of ‘Fresh Expressions’ (see www.freshexpressions.co.za ) which we are presently offering in the South African context. Fresh Expressions carries the MCSA Presiding Bishop’s endorsement and support, as well as that of ACSA's Archbishop Thabo and Prof Nelus Niemandt, the previous Moderator of the DRC. Many Bishops and church leaders are getting involved. 67% of the Methodist Circuits in the UK subscribe to this intentionally ecumenical movement. We are seeing this ecumenical teamwork unfold before our eyes as the Anglicans, Presbyterians and Dutch Reformed, and many others, have embraced it immediately and warmly.

The actual course is an experience in a missional commiunity that handles topics that cover:

Mission Shaped Ministry course: topics covered

Mission Context & the mixed economy

Worship and the sacraments

The Mission of God

Handling opposition, setback & failure

Vision and Call

Ongoing learning and support (Coaching)

Missional values

Prayer for mission

Starting Something new

Healthy relationships: quality community

Listening for mission

Strategic finance for mission

What is church?

Evangelism strategies

Gospel & culture

Engaging with your community

Team roles & behaviour

Children and all-age (Messy Church)

Leadership matters

Fresh expressions and youth

Discipleship

Fresh Expressions young adults

Spirituality for mission

Small group church

 

Lessons from Weakness

 

I hope and pray that you will consider attending the course yourself with a team of leaders or potential people involved in planting new projects, local missions and ministries. If you have any queries do not hesitate to contact me. I will be available to talk to your leadership team, fraternal or Circuit about this exciting movement. I look forward to hearing from you.