Renewing Missional Communities
To frame this vital question let me ask you to listen to a 30
minute commencement address of Catholic scholar and mystic, Henri Nouwen.
Nouwen inseparably links communion with the Father,
authentic community with those with whom we are in mission, and our mission
extending the ministry of Christ. I believe this to be the foundation of
renewal which is normally unseen but foundational to effective and ongoing
Please listen (or download)
Sometimes communities of those following Jesus become weary or gradually allow other priorities to enter. Those
new priorities may be positive in themselves but
not ultimate in God's redemptive purposes. Because external pressures and
temptations are constant, renewal must also be constant, including:
1. Personal renewal
and refreshment from the daily spiritual disciplines seeking deeper
Christ first of all.
2. If you are a leader in the community join with leaders of other
Christian communities to share the stories
of your respective communities, to learn from one another and pray for one
another in the process of seeking renewal, personally and for the
communities you serve.
3. Some communities have found it helpful to interact
with their members periodically around purposeful questions
to help in the
process of re-evaluation and growth:
What aspects of your life and work brings you personal satisfaction?
Where do you see God most active in your life?
Where would you like to see Christ working in your life in the
next six to twelve months?
How would you like to invest in the lives of other people?
How can we pray for you in this season
of growth and renewal?
4. Let me commend also several excellent books
from which I've benefited greatly...
Robert Lewis, Church of Irresistible Influence. (Zondervan,
Grand Rapids) 2001
Shane Claiborne, The
Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (Zondervan,
Grand Rapids), 2006
Michael Frost, Alan Hirsch, The Shaping of Things to Come:
Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church,
Hendrickson Publishers, 2003 ISBN: 978-1-8768-2587-4.