mission shaped church
What is important is to:
Keep the three questions separate at their own stage.
Explore what is appropriate to that question.
Choose the way forward that actually suits the factors that are
present in the situation.
Ensure that mission questions drive the church answers, not vice
Those who start with questions about the relationship to the existing
church have already made the most common and most dangerous
Start with the Church and the mission will probably get lost.
Start with mission and it is likely that the Church will be
A story . . . of a church with three deceivingly simple
St Saviour's, Washington DC is now over 30 years old. It exists
outside the government buildings area, in a city of urban
poverty and high ethnic mix. The church has nine separate
congregations, each with its own ethos. At present each
congregation offers a speciality, for example, a hospital for
street people, a job centre, a housing association, a coffee
shop and book centre, and an intergenerational home caring
for the elderly.
A person coming off the streets might move through the
ministries offered by various congregations. They are united
through the work of the teaching and discipleship programme
put on by the Servant Leadership School the focus of
another of the congregations.
The church explores three questions when working towards
setting up another congregation.
What is the mission to this area?
What kind of community is needed to sustain the mission?
What set of spiritual disciplines is required to sustain the
community in that mission?