“When the Members are the Missionaries” — An Introductory Session Following a Parish Covered Dish Supper

By The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab

St. Anthony on the Desert
Scottsdale, AZ
2/28/03 (90 minutes)– 45 people

Presentation:

  • God is on mission
  • at work in the world
  • to make it a better place by overcoming evil
  • justice is the public face of love
  • where love and justice are blocked, God is working for change
  • where you meet love and justice, God is there
  • God’s mission has a church
  • the church does not have a mission
  • the church is the visible instrument of God’s mission
  • the church collaborates with any who work for greater love and justice
  • We join God’s mission in baptism
  • to make Jesus Christ known in deed and word
  • to love your neighbor as yourself
  • to strive for peace and justice
  • so, mission is “in reach” – “reaching into” God’s mission – rather than “outreach”
  • Jesus is most concerned about how we live from Monday to Saturday
  • Sunday is for direction and power to live that way
  • You have six mission fields
  • home – work – local community – wider world – leisure / re-creation – church
  • A spirituality for missionaries
  • coworkers with God
  • Jesus Christ, the victor over evil
  • Jesus shares his power over evil with us – “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22)

Interaction:

  • What are you doing now to make life better
  • home – work – local community – wider world – leisure / re-creation – church
  • Group divided into six parts with each part given one mission field. Each person works privately for five minutes; then, share with the rest of their subgroup.
  • Ask: “Do you believe what you are doing there is part of God’s mission?” Yes or no or questions
  • Share as time allows – at least one from each of the six mission field – be free to press for specific actions. Next: which one or two of your mission fields are most active in? Share as many as possible

Closing:

  • You need a vision that draws you on – every member on mission wherever they are all the time; and a structure – a mission statement calling for supporting the members in their daily living as Christians; and an action – the members discerning their daily missions in their mission fields.
  • Such a vision, structure, and action are tomorrow’s 3-hour workshop.
  • Remember the return of the 70? “Lord, in your name, even the demons submit to us.” You will say that too when the members are the missionaries

[The Rev. A. Wayne Schwab; Coordinator of Member Mission Network, Inc., President of Member Mission Press, Chair of the Spiritual Formation Committee for the United Church of Hinesburg, VT, Author, and Speaker]