Times have changed!
It hasn’t just been the pandemic. Over the past 50 years, society’s attitude towards the church, and the church’s cultural influence have diminished.
So, in such a changing environment, where the church can no longer rely on her ‘laurels’, how do we engage missionally? Do we nail the pegs more deeply into the sand, in a new form of neo-conservatism? Or do we cast aside all our history, just to appease the god of relevance in a form of neo-liberalism?
These were the sorts of underlying concepts that invited some healthy conversation at the 2021 LCAQD Convention of Synod. Under the banner ‘Bearing Witness to Jesus in an Unchurched World’ participants were invited to share their views on the opportunities and hindrances to mission in the current cultural context.
Not surprising the responses were quite diverse. And while there were no simple answers, no three-step solutions, no nice memorable acronym, there was unity in the belief that the Gospel message of God’s love for all humanity is as important today as ever.
So how do we bear witness to Jesus in an unchurched world? The following were some observations…
- It is not our mission but God’s mission.
- We can’t assume that people will want to come to us; we need to be ready to go to where they are:
- Begin by listening and hearing the stories of others.
- Find a language that connects to the world in which we live.
- Put the needs of those outside the church ahead of our own.
- Love as Jesus loved and speak as Jesus spoke.
- Be real
- Make connections and build relationships. Live the Good News.
If you would like to further explore ways to engage people in mission, contact the Department of Mission and Ministry
David Schmidt, Director, Mission and Ministry David.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Matuschka, Assistant Director, Mission and Ministry, Kathy.email@example.com
Tom Schmidt, Young Adult Mission and Ministry Developer, Tom.firstname.lastname@example.org
Or check out LCAQD Mission and Ministry resources
The image above is a ‘Word Cloud’ representation of how synod delegates responded to the question ‘What did you value most about your childhood/early church experience?’ posed during a mission workshop run by the M&M department on the Saturday morning.