Partnership for Missional Church

Praise for Partnership for Missional Church

Nico 2007 004Look around at all the opportunities for congregations to become engaged in mission and you will find that they are programs, techniques, and one-shot efforts to add on to a congregation’s present ministry.  Although advertized as transformational, the market is full of things that are simply more “technical” change that are like slick tricks a congregation can pull out of its hat to make them more missional.  It sure is nice to have tricks, but unfortunately in the end they haven’t reached the majority of our culture which doesn’t see the church speaking to  their spiritual needs.  Yes, we certainly know that we live in a society that is one of the largest mission fields in the world, but all the techniques, programs and slick ideas have not increased our impact.  In order to make a difference we need huge adaptive change. That is a type of change that gets to the very foundation of how we understand ourselves to be church in the world.  To make an impact we need to see how God is at work already in the world.  To make an impact we need to see how we can become partners with God in what God is already doing.  To make an impact we need to see that the church is not the mission of God, but simply is a partner in what God is up to in the world.  When we see that, the way we function as a congregation/church changes.   The Partnership for the Missional Church provides a guided, longer-term process for helping a congregation participate in God’s mission in the world.  Learning from its culture/context, other congregations in the process, cluster events, and specific congregational activity, and dwelling in the Word, congregations develop a new self awareness that mission is the heart of God’s Church.  That is not a slick trick or a simple program. It is living into God’s future. It’s a tremendous leap of faith to live not knowing the exact outcome, but living confidently in the fact that our life and being is in the heart of God who’s heart  is in the world which God has made. The Rev. Len Dale  

The Holy Spirit (Holy Gust), this concept of how the Spirit works in the life of the church, was most meaningful to me. Our PMC team made a poster of the boat tacking this way and that and set it up in the gathering place outside our sanctuary. I referred to it often in our PMC Journey. At the Lake of the Ozarks many of our members own boats, so they could really understand the concept. We cannot keep the Spirit contained in our own understanding of the church, but must allow the Spirit to move the church in whatever direction necessary for God’s preferred and promised future for us.  How might the Spirit be moving in the lives of gays and lesbians to lead others into God’s promised future. After our congregational vote…the PMC team members were the cheerleaders that we needed at the time to keep the congregation focused on mission and where the Spirit was leading us.     Rev. David Beese, Kent Memorial Church, ELCA, Sunrise Beach, MO

As a result of the PMC journey so far, I see more intimate relationships between congregations and between clergy, the beginnings of the practice of sharing testimonials and laments, leadership emerging within the congregation from unexpected places, more openness to trying different things (experiments), and a re-awakening of God-talk within the church walls, but also as we go out into the world and talk about our faith with others.    Rev. Alix Pridgen, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Prairie Village, KS

We are learning that change, especially adaptive change, is a challenge for most disciples as we begin to have a different perspective and view of our world and how we “do” things.  The great thing is that we are left feeling very hopeful and excited in the midst of this missional process and this journey of awareness, understanding and knowledge. Being missional has brought me alongside of God rather than the old image of “me here on Earth and God up high in the sky.”  It has been a wonderful growing and awareness experience!  Amy Baue-Steering Team Chairperson,  Living Lord Lutheran Church, Lake Saint Louis, MO

Because of the PMC process the congregation is praying together more, Sunday school and small group participation is up, attendance for all services is up and people are congregating in the commons between services to just talk. A key to this process, no offense meant, is to have the pastoral team stay out of the way. Our pastors did a phenomenal job at this. They were “hanging out” in the wings when questions arose, lead many a dwelling, encouraged participation and prayed with/for the other members of the congregation – building community as a result. I truly believe that this process allows us to develop the skills needed as a community to let the HOLY SPIRIT effectively change our method of worship, evangelism, prayer and participation in the lives of our community – internal and at large.  Karl Runge, Lay person, Hope Lutheran, St. Charles, MO