9.25.2005

What is the task?

I've been looking through some of the Church of England's efforts to plant and support "mission-shaped" churches. One planning document from this year shares this refreshingly candid bit of self-examination:
The Church of England has by and large not brought forth a confident laity in matters of faith and faith sharing. Rather, the laity have often felt disempowered, in the same way that many clergy who enter ministry from other walks of life sense they have been disempowered, by a system that trains its leadership for a pastoral rather than a missionary task. (5)
In my experience, this resonates with our situation in the ELCA. Changing this perception of the type of task we are about -- in the minds of clergy and laity -- is a daunting prospect for us. Many faithful churches and leaders want seriously to take up mission, but struggle with putting maintenance in order to do so.

What will it take for us to really see our communities as areas for missionary activity?

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