The CCVT Renewal Challenge reminded us that we could do better at building Communities of Hope and Compassion (that might just look like ‘churches’ we have known) demonstrated by a Community that:
• Is actively changing the conversation from a ‘church’ conversation to a mission conversation.
• Has mission as its priority, seeking to be an incarnational ‘contrast’ community and a witness, sign, and foretaste of the Kingdom in its neighbourhood.
• Centres its life on the Bible and in particular the New Testament; reading it and discerning from it a picture of God’s Kingdom, the salvation story, and transforming spiritual practices.
• Gathers and grows disciples of Jesus; lifelong learners with a developing spiritual maturity, evidenced by the fruit and gifts of the Spirit, each seeking to operate within the fivefold ministry pattern of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, and Pastor/Teacher of Ephesians 4.
• Is becoming an ‘order of local missionaries’; engaging those who are yet to belong, confident of affirming and translating the story of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ in a variety of ways and contexts.
• Invites accountability to one another; demonstrating the fruit of time spent in supporting and watching out for one another in love.
• Seeks to name where God is at work in their neighbourhood and to join with him there, exhibiting an observable and graceful influence and impact.
• Welcomes the stranger, demonstrating Kingdom hospitality and its message of grace and generosity.
• Sees worship, prayer, discernment and learning as expressions of a gathering and sent Community, propelling people outwards to a watching and waiting world.
• Practices justice and reconciliation as signposts of the Kingdom; revealed by a diversity of age, gender, race, ability, and socioeconomic identity, and by being a safe place for all people.
• Actively discerns where God might be nudging a Community to be releasing and nurturing new Communities.