WHAT THEN PRECIPTATED THIS SUDDEN, AMAZING CHANGE?
A few preliminary remarks:
Firstly, a huge hermeneutical shift occurred.
Story after story were told of the new found ability to see God at
work in the world – in many ways, but mostly in little things. Whereas
people expected God’s presence in big schemes and projects in which the
whole congregation would be enthusiastically involved, now suddenly –
on the road of missional practices – God was discovered in small
beginnings, in the miracle of peace being shared on a personal level or
in smaller settings.
God is often in the unexpected, in situations of extreme pain,
displacement, rejection and disillusionment. Experiencing his presence,
learning to accept his peace and healing in those situations, is good
news. Previously, one person said, we were blindfolded, but now we
start to see God.
Secondly, concrete missional practices made a huge difference.
The effect of staff covenanting and the implementation of adaptive
change practices made being missional a new reality. Doing and
reflecting, in an emergent fashion, created new learning experiences.
Thirdly, peer-to-peer mentoring between congregations and pastors went a long way to facilitate deep transformation.
Struggling and searching for new ways of being, the plot suddenly comes together.
– Different experiences and insights suddenly merge into a meaningful new framework as we tell our stories to one another.
– A-ha moments are created when we start to see God at work in the other’s struggle to find missional meaning.
That helps us to find focus on God’s work in our own setting, to recognize his call in our congregational life.