Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, defined mission as, “finding out what God is doing and joining in”.
We are reminded by this quote that the church exists only to be part of God’s mission in the world and that God goes before us in whatever missional activities we undertake. Every local church therefore has the task of discerning how God is calling them to ‘join in’.
As we discern our role, it is vital to remember that the good news of Jesus is about the transformation of our communities and the world. Proclaiming the Gospel includes, among other things, responding to human need, transforming unjust structures, challenging violence and striving to safeguard the integrity of creation.
At times we may feel that we lack the capacity or resources for this task, but we should take heart from the scriptures and church history. In these we see that when people respond to the call of God in faith, God provides what is needed.
We are also reminded that we are called to employ the resources we have generously and wisely, seeking to be both faithful and effective in all we do.
The PMC has developed a guidebook and resources for mission planning. The resources encourage you to discern God’s call for your church and to keep one question before you at all times: What is God calling your church to be and to do?
Discerning the answer to this question and fulfilling it through intentional, organised action is, in the end, the primary purpose of planning for mission.