How is it?

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If you've gotten as far as the forum, you may have had a pretty good look around the Global Mission Network site.  So, what do you think?  We want to continually improve this content so that it is more user-friendly, useful and engaging.  Your input is deeply valued and will lead us to reconsider and make changes.  So, please give us a little feedback on what you have seen so far.  Thanks, Steve

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Let's Discuss…

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It looks great!

I'm looking forward to exploring and discovering the myriad of resources on this site. I came to the global mission looking for resources on cross-cultural mission, but not over seas. Rather, how to connect and minister with churches from vastly different cultures right down the street, or, in our case, right in our building. I'm looking forward to finding a common niche with other similar churches facing the same opportunities.

Gary, you are absolutely right. Cross-cultural mission in our own neighborhoods is becoming more and more vital. We will be continuing to augment the site with such materials. In fact, we hope that those involved in this kind of outreach all over North America will post or notify me of such materials.

I agree with Gary's statements about thinking locally. We have for too long in the CRC thought of the "missio Dei" as something we do in other countries while neglecting our neighbors. We have somehow come to think that the local church can be "successful" apart from improving the community where the church is located. We need to begin to think about how we impact our communities and if our community isn't improving then the local church is not living it's mission. We can no longer think, "As long as we are doing missions somewhere..." We can't let this thinking give us permission to neglect the people closest to us. This disconnect from God's mission locally is evident even on this website. It is a site designed for the local church but has little connection to local mission. How do we effectively impact the communities where our churches are located. What does it mean to be "missional" at home? How do we listen to our communities in a way that we discover where God is moving and how we can be in step with Him in our communities.

I've just been having an exchange with Mike Bruinooge about this topic. It isn't that I or others involved in the global mission network think this is unimportant. I'm part of an inner city church that is very deliberately focused on its neighborhood. Neland is growing into a "mission with" rather than "mission to" mentality. Mike wondered if the global mission site could embrace local mission too. I'm not sure, though, that people will look for the resources they need for that purpose on a site called global mission. It seems that it would be better to establish an additional network, with lots of links of course. The boundaries between these two are weakening, but they aren't yet gone. We need to do ministry locally and globally, but the dynamics and issues are somewhat different. What do you think?

The stereotype of mission in the CRCNA in the past has been that it is "overseas." Having an online Network system that begins with the "overseas" dimension and does not include local mission effectively reinforces the old stereotype. As one who was called to be a domestic, North American missionary this has been a long journey of trying to move beyond the stereotype. Sometimes I think we've made progress, and at other times the old DNA seems to resurface. I'd request that whenever those of us who serve in either the global (overseas) or local (domestic) dimensions of the mission speak into this and cast the vision for Christ's mission, we always respectfully include the whole "glocal" dimension of Christ's mission. This is especially true when we invite North American congregations to think about Christ's mission. We are beyond the day when we can seperate the two.

Thanks for your reply Steve. I think you're right that the boundaries are weakening but they aren't gone. Maybe another option might be to have a "Missional" button with two sub options being "Global" and "Local".

Excellent idea...and the correct way to go. Only improvement would be a third button entitled, "Glocal."

Guide

I go back and forth on this too. It's easy to point fingers and say "it should be done this way," "we don't want to reinforce old ideas," but the reality is that we have to meet our constituents where they are. For many, that means deacons take care of the local benevolence and the missions committee decides which missionaries to support. Others have developed a missional strategy for the whole church which incorporates local and global missions, enabling everyone in the congregation (all ages, all talents) to support the unique calling of their church. In the short time I've been doing church missions coaching, I have yet to see a church very far along in the latter.

For those of you looking to do local missions, I encourage you to check out the Deacons forum - or go directly to www.communitiesfirstassociation.org :-)

Precious little at those sites on all range of resources CRCNA's domestic mission agency has invested and gathered through the years on local evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. There are over 300 church plants and missionary pastors out there since 1988 with an incredible amount of knowledge and experience capital to be invested in Christ's mission by sharing with others.

Guide

To clarify about my suggestion to go to the deacons section - I certainly didn't mean to imply that deacons are the select few to DO the work of local outreach and evangelism. Rather, they are to be the encouragers and equippers for the congregation. That's a whole other topic, though ;-)

Allen, how is all that experience and resourcing being promoted and distributed to our churches? I didn't see much info on the home missions website, but it's quite possible I'm just not looking in the right place. I think it would be great if HM could write some articles for the network.

Participant

whammond,
if you're talking about Serve, that's under Youth Unlimited. The CCSP is now its own 501(c)3 organization with its own board of directors. It has become a more cross denominational organization here in the valley with our church taking the lead. I'm not sure what resources you are asking about.

Guide

Sorry Allen D - I was responding to Allen L's post :-)

Good question Wendy. The knowledge and experience capital gets distributed primarily through our "distributed" regional leaders and teams. Considerable energy goes into sharing best practices and learnings from one location to another. Our website has suffered in part due to "benign neglect" as we await new opportunities for the "domestic" side of our engagement in Christ's mission to be present on a denominational Gobal Mission site...:-).

Participant

Allen, while waiting for a glocal section on the Network :) are there other ways that Home Missions is distributing the knowledge and experience capital from missional leaders and church planters into established churches, especially those asking questions about community engagement? In a breakfast gathering that Jerry D. and Peter H. led in Hamilton, ON this morning, they mentioned a cluster of pastors in the Seattle area that is bringing together seasoned pastors from established churches and several pastors/leaders of missional initiatives. Are there more of these types of clusters developing and being nurtured/cultivated by Home Missions? From what I heard this morning, this seems like one way that the experience capital you mentioned can flow between church planters and leaders in established churches.

Lots of interesting comments about the relation of global and local here. I'll be processing them with others on Monday. Meanwhile, I'd love to see some response to the resources and ideas about global mission we've placed here. What is missing? How are congregations informing and inspiring their members to be part of what God is doing around the world? Do the many materials here on short term missions scratch where churches itch? We look forward to your feedback.

Participant

I agree, Wendy, that there are few churches that have engaged a missional strategy that sees the integral nature of missions. Your suggestion to look at the deacons forum also points to a tendency in our denomination to think that mission is for a few specially gifted people in the church or for the church as an institution to engage in, but not for each individual to embrace as integral to discipleship and following Jesus Christ. I've heard from several outreach pastors (and experienced it myself when I was serving in that capacity) a response of "that's why we hired you" when members are asked to personally engage in mission.

For facilitating dialogue within this network, I would urge us to consider ways in which the structure of the network can facilitate dialogue for those interested in mission. I don't believe that a local mission/deacons section and a global mission section will help us move beyond the stereotypes. Even though as Steve noted we're not at a point yet where those old barriers/divisions between local and global (or word/deed, or church as institute/church as organism) are gone, I would hope that the way we facilitate and structure the dialogue in this space would help to move beyond those divisions.

My suggestion is that we have a section simply titled "mission" rather than global mission. We can have lots of different threads within this section to pursue and express different trends or issues that come up. That's my two-bits for now.

Participant

I love the "Glocal" idea.
I believe that God called us to our current church in Alamosa CO to lead in the direction of missional as a life style whether local or global. We sense a strong heart for mission at both levels. They already do a local Serve and another ministry called Christian Community Service Projects, but this is all program oriented. I think that as we start to revision and redisign to make disciples in a simpler way, the missional will become a more natural thing.

Perhaps it starts with a vision more along the Simple Church line in building disciples so people don't feel like church life is so busy there is no time to develop relationships locally or participate in a global mission effort. Financial resources can be freed up from unnecessary programs to be used toward more missional projects whether global or local.

Just thinking out loud.

I joined b/c I need ideas.  I tired of the same old movie nights, potluck dinners, etc. 

Our church married the two outreach and world missions;  global and local and in our community it works well.  In Greater Vancouver, the world is literally at our doorsteop. 

Are you finding the ideas you need?  If not, what are you looking for?  Steve

CRC news had an article on iGPS - the Inter-agency Global Partnership Strategy which I found interesting and possibly helpful.

However, after following links provided, It seems most of the resources and discussions given are for CRWRC type work where help and assistance to third world countries are provided.

I was hoping that there would be a special area reserved just for NA churches connect with other churches.

It may be helpful to describe how other churches in the world manages their responsibilities.  We have a connection to another church in Cuba. Beside language problems, their relationship with their government is quite different compared to us as well as how they interrelate to us. In NA we tend to be quite more individualistic rather than communal.

It could be helpful for other churches to know what to expect if there is some descriptions in terms of language, governance, communication preferences etc etc.

Guide

Hello aguilla1,

It can be a bit difficult to navigate all the links. CRWM in Canada is working on church to church partnerships in Cuba. What kinds of resources would be helpful? I think that the cultural resources are applicable to Cuba as well.Even if you are not focusing specifically on development/diaconal work, as CRWRC emphasizes, the disproportionate amount of money between the two groups is an issue that will need to be addressed.

Hopefully Steve or Trish will chime in here as they have more experience with Cuba specifically.

It might also be good if you started a conversation in the Discussion Forum so that others in church to church partnerships can respond and share ideas. 

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To reply, flag, or view the full post: http://network.crcna.org/content/global-mission/subtle-shift-posture-missional-church#comment-2512

 

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In fact I do not know how to find a comment #.

What is going on?

 

Admin

augilla1,

It looks to be a spam comment. You received the email because you've commented in that discussion thread before (so are subscribed to receive notices about new comments).

In the meantime, someone else must have already hit the "flag as inappropriate" button so it's been removed.

Spammers are everywhere, even in discussion forums! I hope this explanation helps.

Tim

Community Builder

I'm thinking about how my local church could integrate several interests into  one educational missional outreach program.  We are setting a very high priority on youth, and we have the usual programs for neighborhood kids.  In addition we are going to begin involvement with a city-wide initiative to increase the number of kids who graduate from high school.  In addition an evangelical para church organization wants to partner with us to relate to kids in the community.   In addition we have a daughter of the congregation involved in starting a Christian education program overseas.    

Here's what I'm wondering - could these all be somehow inter-related in the strategy and learning of our congregation, so that we are seeing the commonalities among all the "glocal" efforts, providing a theme that is motivational and educational for families, develoipng a cadre of volunteers all of whom can share some common experiences as well as some distinctly different ones....   and together we can learn about how to be involved in God's world at multiple levels using multiple gifts and skills, and end up with our congregation engaged in some kind of "unified" glocal mission.....

Anybody out there got any ideas or experience to share?

THANKS

Guide

I think developing a theme is a great idea. It will help provide a mental box for people to fit things into. A brochure that provides all the ways that people can get involved would help cement the connectedness in people's minds. Some people will naturally be drawn to one aspect of it or another, and that's OK. As long as they see that it's for a broader goal within the church's vision/mission.

Hey folks, lets take these idea's a step or two forward. Like Karl said incorperating, every one who willing to learn and assist in missions around your community. This could be a chance to make difference right around us. You could combine small groups, youth groups senior groups and mops. Think about a joint effort on all missions. We need to think out of the box on our efforts to address the Kingdom goals.

Hi Karl: I believe each 'project' is unique in that the people involved, the services offered and possible results may be different in each case. trying to make one theme through it all may be rather tough and end up being a bit superficial.

Why not incorporate one project (only) in a service concentrating on the particulars, have the liturgy match that particular theme as well as songs and sermon topic (of course staying close to the Bible, so it may digress from or broaden the theme).

Then a few weeks later do the same with another project. The one unifying theme is that we work to serve our Lord with our gifts, although the gifts and work may differ from time to time.

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