It is important to have a good definition of the term ‘Mission’, especially if the church is to understand what it means to participate in God’s Mission – the Missio Dei. There are many helpful definitions of Mission but one that can often be forgotten is the profound loving nature of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who in love, seeks over and over again, to draw creation back into relationship.

Trinitarian theology points to the fact that God is in God’s own self a life of communion and that God’s involvement in history aims at drawing humanity and creation in general into communion with God’s very life. So that mission aims primarily at the transmission of the life of the communion that exists in God.

(World Council of Churches - Go Forth in Peace: Orthodox Perspectives on Mission.)

The mission of the church then, if it is obedient to God’s call to mission, is the participation with God, to draw creation back into relationship with the Triune God. This can only be carried out in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Primarily, the role of the mission catalyst, if using the scientific term, is to be an agent that encourages and provokes significant change or action. A caveat to this is of course that it is ultimately God who encourages and provokes change or action. This encouraging, this provoking, will be carried out in consultation with the workgroups of Presbytery, in particular the Mission Workgroup. It will also be done in partnership with the Children and Family and Youth Ministry, Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership (KCML), PressGo and importantly congregations within Presbytery Central.

What it might look like…

Imagine you’re a congregation that is deeply concerned about the mental health of your wider community as well as the other members of your congregation. You sense God is calling you to do something but you have no idea what to do, how to get started, and who to raise it with. Maybe it’s something you’ve talked about at Parish Council or Session but simply have no idea what to do next. First, give thanks that you are seeking to be faithful to God and are listening to God’s call. Second, this is exactly the purpose of Mission Catalyst. It’s not to come into your place and tell you what to do but to offer support, guidance and possible ways forward, which might include:

  1. Encourage greater imagination and the sharing of other resources
  2. Training in particular ways, such as through short courses or leadership training through KCML
  3. Sustainable and long-term support
  4. Theological reflection on Mission
  5. Applying for mission grants through the Mission Resourcing Workgroup

If we were to explore the above example, probably the best place to start would be reflecting on what Scripture and theology has to say about mental health. You might already have good connections with the wider community, so maybe it is having more intentional conversations with particular groups, who might know much more than the church does about mental health. You might have someone in your congregation who is a trained psychologist who is just waiting to be asked to help. As you take a step of faith, even if it is only one, God will surprise you at the doors that will be opened. Walking through those doors will see others blessed because you are proclaiming through word and action the risen Jesus.

PCANZ Website: Mission Resources

Global Mission: Global Mission

Signs of a Healthy Congregations: Healthy Congregations

Mission Planning: Template

Presbytery Central Road Map: Road Map

Christian Mission: Roxborogh - missiology

Missiology: missiology.org

Articles: missiodeijournal

Send Institute: rethinking-the-missio-dei

Rebuilders: https://rebuilders.co/

Missional Church:

Rebuilders is an initiative started by Red Church to help churches, leaders, and believers grapple with the issues presented by an increasingly secular society: Rebuilders

In this episode of the AsOne Leadership Podcast, host Luke Williams chats to author and missiologist Alan Hirsch:

Welcome to Presbytery Central’s Mission Church Tool

Self-assessing our missional life

The main purpose of the Mission Church Survey Tool is to enable congregations and presbytery to self-assess our missional well-being. This tool has been provided to you by Presbytery Central Mission Work Group.

If at any stage you need help or wish to provide feedback, please contact the Mission Work Group at: missions@presbyterycentral.org.nz

BEFORE using the tool, please read the User Guide provided HERE. Please take the time to read this document as it contains important information such as:

  1. When and when not to use the tool
  2. Overview of the recommended Survey Tool Process
  3. How to use the online and paper-based surveys
  4. How to review the report that will come to you
  5. Tips and guidelines on how to communicate results
HERE is a presentation, that overviews the tool, for ministers, elders, leadership, sessions or council. If you’re using this presentation, make sure participants have access to or are given the User Guide.

The link of the online survey is HERE

Note: Before using the survey for your church, have you prepared well? Please refer to the User Guide before getting your church to use this tool

The link for the paper-based survey (for downloading) is HERE

Note: Before handing out this paper-based survey, have you prepared well? Please refer to the User Guide before getting your church to use this tool

Example of a report with completed survey responses is HERE

Note: Please refer to the User Guide for more information on how to interpret this report

For support and any questions in using this tool, contact Sally Carter at missions@presbyterycentral.org.nz

New Training for Missional Pioneers

The Forge Pioneer Course is a spiritual formation and training process for those who sense that God might be leading them into creating new expressions of church. The Pioneer Course aims to prepare people for what God is calling them to do through a combination of mentoring huddles, training weekends, in context experience and individual learning and reflection. The first course began in February 2022. Applications close in mid-November, for information go to the Forge Website. Presbytery Central will consider subsidising participants expenses relating to the course.

What is Forge Aotearoa?

Forge Aotearoa provides missional training and cultivates missional communities across Aotearoa NZ. Forge is a leadership development programme for those who are seeking to serve incarnationally, who have a holistic view of life and mission and who are able to rethink church structures, recognising that one size does not fit all. Forge does not plant churches, but instead trains people to thrive in whatever context they are called to. Forge is about the grass-roots and is committed to connecting emerging missional leaders with experienced practitioners. The Forge dream is to see both new missional communities birthed, and established churches encouraged to refocus on the task of mission here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mission Catalyst

Rev Stuart Simpson