[We commend Basic Tools 3B over this one for this purpose. We do so because these earlier forms for mission discernment were not as user-friendly as those in Basic Tools 3B. However, you may find some useful ideas here. “Another approach” below may suggest a way to rework Basic Tools 3B that suits your purposes.]
A useful step to implement the vision of member mission in a congregation is an action that helps people to grasp / feel what it is about. [The first is the vision for mission of Basic Tools 7.] You have already tasted it in the naming of our current missions in our daily mission fields. Each member deserves a chance to work through some pattern to discern their current daily missions in each of their mission fields. Such a pattern needs to include:
– a sense of what God is already doing there;
– a way to think through what needs to be done to make life better
– free choice – among all the alternatives – what he / she will do
– words expressing the vision of the change that is sought
– ways to find (a) teammate(s)
– ways to talk of God with the teammate(s)
Leaders do well to convene a pilot group the first time they use the following forms (all are at www.membermissionpress.org>Making the Vision Work>Revisions, Updates etc.>Appendix A – Revisions 1 & 2). Helping people to use them is a new skill for most. Here follow two examples of the forms to look at together.
Discerning my Present Mission at Home (one I am carrying on or will start to carry on)
1. What has God been doing or telling me through my life in my home? [Try a response beginning with: “I believe God is . . . .”]
2. What conditions inhibit reconciliation, justice, and love (peacemaking, fairness, and caring) in my home?
3. What change is needed to increase reconciliation, justice, and love (peacemaking, fairness, and caring) in my home?
4. What, specifically, will I do to achieve this change considering my gifts, limitations, and convictions? [Limit yourself to just one action of mission.]
5. What vision (description of what I will do) will I use to recruit a “team” to work with me to achieve this change? [Answer with words you might actually use with a possible teammate: “….”]
6. As I recruit or work with my “teammate/s,” how will I talk of God while I am sharing my vision (what I plan to do) or following through on it? [Answer with words you might actually use with a possible teammate: ” . . . .”]
7. How will I invite my “teammate/s” to join me at Jesus’ table to be fed and empowered to achieve this vision? (How will I encourage others to seek help in church life?) [Answer with words you might actually use with a possible teammate: ” . . . .”]
This approach begins with what they are already doing is often easier to pick up.
Reflecting on a Present Mission in My Work – includes School and Volunteer Work
1. At present, what, specifically, am I doing to make life better — more loving and / or more just — in my daily work/school/volunteer work? [Limit yourself to just one action.]
2. What is it that I am trying to change in my daily work/school/volunteer work so that life there is more loving and / or more just?
3. What seems to be blocking the change I am trying to make in my work?
4. What do I believe God been doing or telling me in my life at work? [Try a response beginning with: “I believe God is . . . .”]
5. I will need / have needed some help to make this change. What vision (description of what I am doing) have I used / will I use to recruit a “team” to work with me to achieve this change? [Answer with words you actually have used / might use with to recruit a teammate: ” . . . .”]
6. As I recruit or work with my “teammate/s,” how have I or will I describe how I see God connected with the change we are trying to make? [Words you actually have used or might use with a possible teammate: ” . . . .”]
7. How have I or will I invite my “teammate/s” to join me at Jesus’ table to be led and to be empowered in working for this change? (How will I encourage others to seek help in church life?) [Answer with words you might actually use with a possible teammate: ” . . . .”]
Note the pattern
1 – 4 what you will do / are doing; 5 – 7 how you will find a teammate. While this can look overly organized at first glance, some kind of disciplined approach like this is needed. Recall Einstein’s wisdom: “Perfection of means and confusion of goals seems, in my opinion, to characterize our age.” Hence, a disciplined discerning of one’s daily missions.
Use this mission discernment with:
– candidates for youth or adult baptism and confirmation / reaffirmation / reception;
– parents bringing their children for baptism even for a single session – Appendix C of WTMATM;
– congregational leaders and newcomers to get a taste of the vision (such as b. and c. in the vestry format which is available – maybe even d. if there is time); and
– as a program for Advent or Lent.