Center for Mission Innovation Innovator Tools: Worship and Mission

Every church should have a variety of mission opportunities throughout the year that engage the entire congregation -- individuals of all ages -- and range from simple to complex. A Sunday morning worship experience, or other time when everyone is gathered, is a perfect time for these demonstrations of our love of God and love of neighbor. Be sure each mission experience fits the best practices of missio Dei (God’s mission) and has a proper place in your larger plan of missional engagement. Such mission must be more than projects and activities. We should think of our engagement in mission as unleashing the focus, prayers, and energy of our congregations to engage and enhance our communities. Look for opportunities that match your community needs, your context and scale, your existing partnerships, or are tied to worship or discipleship. It’s important to connect these mission experiences with meaningful next steps. For ...
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Roving Listening: A Way to Discover the Natural Assets of the People in Your Community

By Rev. Stacey Harwell, Centenary UMC, Macon, Georgia The philosophy behind Roving Listeners: Asset-based community development As opposed to traditional needs-based models that chart a community’s deficiencies, an asset-based model of community development looks at what gifts are already present. Especially in an impoverished community, people are constantly asked to prove how bad things are to get assistance, grants, or attention. Too many organizations go into a town/neighborhood to “fix” it without realizing that there’s a treasure trove of gifted individuals right under their noses that simply need to know one another and mobilize. Too often, nonprofits and churches do projects that don’t get neighborhood support, leaving them to wonder what they are doing wrong. The problem tends to be that they haven’t gotten to know their neighbors and their incredible gifts. Alternatively, asset-based community developers focus on what the individual and community can do instead of what they ...
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Reading the Bible Through the Missio Dei

By Dr. David Scott, director of mission theology Traditionally, much of the focus in Christian mission has been on the actions of humans – the church and individual believers. Yet in recent decades, mission theologians have come to a new and profound insight: Mission does not start with humans; it starts with God. The term mission comes from missio, the Latin word for to send. We see that mission begins with God when we look at God’s triune nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father sent the Son into the world (John 3:16-17). The Father and the Son together send the Holy Spirit into the world (John 15:26). And together the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit send the church into the world. Thus, mission is about God’s action in the world. This is called the missio Dei, the mission of God. Through God’s mission, God seeks to restore ...
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