Thursday, June 23, 2011

The place of our theological college in the development of leaders for our church.

These thoughts will be slightly shaped by the Tikanga Pakeha presentation which suggests our theological college offers a school, formation and bicultural site in three Tikanga context.
So here are my random thoughts for this morning.
I see the theological college as a place that offers training for key people who will help our church engage with our missional task, and discern god’s ongoing mission in our society. So this is two groups, those who will work within the structure primarily to help it focus more outward, and those who will be the point persons for our developing missional work beyond the traditional edges of church, who will be much less interested in keeping the church going, and more interested in living out God’s infinite love for all people in a way that brings them into that love, and allows them to develop worshipping communities that honour their cultural context as well as the gospel. (Ok, this is very wishy washy and pie in the sky, but hey, it is morning)
 Primarily for me that means the formation for young leaders:
  • Formed in the biblical story and text;
  • Formed in the Anglican tradition, including the three Tikanga nature of that tradition in this place
  • Formed as people of mission (as opposed to people of pastoral care)
  • Formed as people with a robust and disciplined rhythm of life  (which allows for people to be shaped by god’s love, and to be live according to the rhythms and cadences of God, and to live out of that base rather than our own dreams and strengths)
I see the theological college s being a place that offers good academic and practical courses on bible and biblical theology, theology, church history, and practical papers on mission and pastoral practice.

I would hope that people who leave the theological college have spent time in missional practice, reflecting on that and the place of their academic study in that missional practice. (Phil’s idea of a mentor would be good here) I would also hope that those leaving the theological college are able to provide leadership and resourcing for missional ministry among all ages, but specifically children young people and their families, and that if they can’t then this is seen as a failure of what is offered.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What kind of leadership for 2020?

So the next question is: What kind of leadership for 2020?
Here are some initial thoughts:
  • I guess first of all , a younger leadership that is less moulded by church as it was and is
  • A leadership that if focussed on mission, and who understanding Anglicanism as what undergirds that mission.
  • Not working to preserve Anglicanism per se
  • Steeped in the Anglican tradition as something that gives life and through which God works to give life and to change the world
  • Lives out of a profoundly prayerful place
  • Willing to take risks and to fail
  • Is innovative
  • Is filled with God’s love for all people including those we often struggle to love
  • Is more interested in living the gospel than preaching the gospel
  • Is willing to question and not take for granted
  • Loves people can take a community of people with them rather than being a lone ranger
  • Works with teams
  • Helps groups of people develop a vision and ways of working that out
  • Resources people in their ministry
  • Works hard to engage all ages and not just offer people
  • Is clear that mission must involve all age groups, and particularly young people

What are your thoughts?

What will mission look like?

What will mission look like?
In the coming weeks there is a very important meeting happening about the future shape of our theological college. Our three Tikanga Youth Commission has been asked to contribute. To help us prepare we are thinking about different questions, contributing ideas, and then skype calling on a Thursday. Last week the question was what will mission look like? This is my answer. Any thoughts?

To be honest I do not know. But I hope:
  • it will be much more natural than it is now.
  • we will do it instinctively rather than have to think about how to do it.
  • we will remember it is God’s mission not ours
  • it will be much less about telling people about God and God’s love, and much more about living God’s love (preach the gospel at all times, use words when necessary)
  • as we offer our best for the least people will see God at work. – are we willing to embrace and kiss the leper?
  • rather than have to go out and try to offer God’s love we will recognise the risen Christ in all and treat them as such
  • as we seek to make Christ known, we will come to know Christ
  • it will be much less about inviting people to come and join us, and running attractive events and services, and much more about going out and joining God in whatever God is up to now.
  • it will be much less about building the church – which is God’s problem and not ours, and much more about living our God’s grace.
  • it will be something that all who are part of our church will do, as a matter  of course.
  • it is something that young people will take a lead in
  • it will come out of our worshiping and communal life.
  • It will be undergirded by our Anglican tradition which seeks to give life to our mission
  • we will be a missional community (who we are will be missional by the values which shape how we relate to each other and the community we live in)
  • it will involve people of all ages working together, rather than separately
  • will be based on being authentic, rather than relevant.
  • it will start with where people are and where God is in that, rather than our need to survive as a church
  • it will be much more about letting go, recognising our own poverty, and not seeing ourselves as the saviours or experts. Can we embrace lady poverty?
  • we will follow the naked crucified and risen Christ, rather than our own wisdom.