Paul writes – A number of Kiwi’s (mainly Baptist’s) – Steve Taylor, Lynne Taylor, Alan Jamieson and others; plus a Canadian – Alan Roxburgh – gathered in Auckland on Sunday for a three-day gathering at which it was hoped some lessons and learning around grassroots missional activity and church planting might emerge. Tomorrow I will be joining them, together with an Anglican friend.
Here’s how they’re ‘framing’ their time together: “What are the lessons we can learn from the grassroots missional experiments and classic church planting going on here in Aotearoa?”
It’s a strategic gathering for a whole range of reasons, not least because we recognise the vast changes in our own NZ contexts. We recognise the challenges for increasing numbers of significantly graying congregations.
It’s great that churches are sending their young people on short-term overseas missions; that churches are supporting overseas missions activity, but, many of us recognise that NZ itself is a “mission field” and we need to re::imagine ourselves as those sent by Jesus into our own contexts. We face some huge challenges.
Consequently we want our rhythms and ways of being church; our values and practices to reflect a commitment to locating the places in which God is at work in the local and everyday narratives; in the practices and “tactics” of life and living. Engaging these narratives, practices and tactics (in conversation with Scripture) will enable us to understand and communicate “gospel” in ways that do indeed represent “good news” for post-Christendom Western culture(s) and society
“This gathering of Kiwi practitioners will do several things:
· Hear some of the stories of what is going on.
· Reflect on the biblical and theological implications of the models and patterns that are emerging.
· Create networking for those doing similar things.
· Work towards producing papers and guidelines that help foster the work of mission.”
Despite a very early start tomorrow morning, I’m looking forward to spending a day with Alan Roxburgh, Steve, Lynne, Alan and others. I’m looking forward to listening in on what Baptist’s are doing in NZ. The brochure is attached below:
 Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life. Thanks to Steve Taylor for bringing de Certeau to my attention several years ago.