Members of a rugby team are all different, but together they make up the team – each member playing their part.Together, we make up the East Taieri Church team. We are all different. There are six different services represented here. But together we make up the ET team, each member playing their part.
The mission of the All Blacks is clear – to get the ball across the try line, and stop the opposition doing the same, so they win the game.
What is our mission as a church?
One people in mission for God’s glory
Growing in Christ and making him known in love
through word, sign and deed
Because all people matter to God.
What does that look like? What’s our vision for that in the future?
Our mission is an overflow of our relationship with Jesus. At East Taieri Church our vision is that we are all close to Jesus. Knowing Jesus, so our lives are changed and we can be a part of Him changing other’s lives too.
How do we stay in touch with Jesus? God took the initiative in sending Jesus, but we also need to respond. There was a woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. She had spent all her money on doctors and none of them could make her well. She thought, “Jesus is my only hope.” She thought “If I only reach out and touch his cloak, I will be healed.” And she was.
You can reach out and touch Jesus in worship. Those of us leading worship are praying, digging deep in the Scriptures, practicing music, preparing creative stuff, getting ready. But all of us need to get ready for worship. We need to come expecting to meet with God in all His love and power. We want to grow in our worship services in the year ahead.
You can be in touch with Jesus in your own of course. Growing in your relationship with Jesus in those quiet moments at home. In the year ahead, I will be teaching about spiritual gifts and spiritual practices that are part of living as Jesus lived.
2) Pause – Prayer, Reflection, Learning, Growth (Luke 10:2)
Notice what happened before they actually went out.
Before going out, they were to pray. Prayer reminds us that we are dependent on God’s grace and power. We humble ourselves, and ask God to do what we cannot.
Then they were to go according to some specific instructions from Jesus. (Lk 10:3-9) We will see in a moment that the basic idea of our mission is simple. Sometimes we over complicate things. But here Jesus did give them some mission instructions. They were to travel light: no money, no bag, or sandals. They weren’t to dilly dally along the way making small talk to the people they met. There was a sense of urgency to find those people that were open to the good news about Jesus, discovering where God was already at work in a town or village and joining in. (Jesus altered these in Lk 22:35-36).
The second part of our vision at ET is everyone growing in Christ, understanding that the Christian life isn’t just about going to heaven when we die, but living in the kingdom of God now – ambassadors for the King.
(Luke 10:9) Seeing God’s power at work putting things to rights, healing sickness and injustice, bringing forgiveness and reconciliation, changing lives, caring for God’s creation around us... A big view of what it means to follow Jesus as an ambassador of the King of Kings.
There are specific ways you can pause, reflect, learn and grow:
- There are opportunities for intentional discipleship.
- This ET brochure, “How can I grow spiritually?” has a menu for spiritual growth: starters, entrees, mains, desserts...
- This year we put together a ministry opportunities board, which highlights opportunities for you to step out into a new serving experience with God.
- We will be running the updated Network Course in the new year to help us be clear about our spiritual gifts, personal style and passion, so we understand more of where God is calling each of us to step out in mission.
- In March next year we are having a church camp which will be a fantastic opportunity to build relationships and grow as a disciple of Jesus.
1. Minister to real needs with God’s power,
2. And tell people where it came from.
Let me give you a few examples of our strategies for engaging:
(a) Today, someone from FUEL gave you a brochure that explains the mission and vision of FUEL – a mission work of ET. FUEL is a breakfast cafe church that meets on Sunday morning in Fairfield. Their particular focus is reaching and discipling people not currently involved in church. FUEL has grown to around 30 adults and 20 children every week. We need to pray that God will raise up new leaders, so FUEL can go on and grow.
Two key strategies:
(i) We attract and invite people to fantastic events (such as Christmas Eve – this year lets break the 1000 mark – and perhaps more importantly) and we attract and invite people to quality ministries (such as Mainly Music and the Marriage course).
(ii) We build relationships with people, and speak about Jesus.
Rubgy is just a game, but our mission is not a game. It’s life instead of death. Grace and truth instead of striving and lies...