an enabling framework for a missionary church
Offer pastoral care to any and all of the variety of parishioners within
A new balance needs to be struck. Protection of the parish and the ministry
of its incumbent against unprincipled and unauthorized invasion is still
required. Also required is protection of the mission of the diocese against
prevention of mission by an incumbent.
why might this lever for change be important?
The case has already been put about the `bishop in mission' and the unit
of the Church being the diocese. This change is also entirely consistent
with invoking the deliberately used phrase `receive the cure of souls which
is yours and mine'. That cure is not given away, it is only shared. In a time
of profound missiological need it will be tragedy if legalism and fear of
upsetting clergy prevent creative new initiatives. The mission of the
Church needs to shift toward strengthening episcopal authority and
reinvoking the cure that has always been the bishop's, for the sake
of those outside the Church.
some questions for discussion
What do you think is the best way to structure and resource mission?
(Bible suggestion: Ephesians 3.7 13.)
What can you learn from other Christian denominations in your area
about organizing yourselves for mission?
List the ways in which your deanery could respond to the need for
fresh expressions of church. What things might your church do to
encourage your areas and deaneries to engage robustly with church
planting for mission?
This chapter has identified four principles under `how do we hold all
this together?' that may guide the response to new mission
opportunities at diocesan level:
Which of these principles do you think is the most important or
significant, and which is the most difficult?