The Churches in Mission initiative at Western Theological Seminary will help congregations locally discern and articulate a communal vocation. A process-oriented approach will encourage faithfulness to the particular complexities, gifts, and challenges of each church’s neighborhood. The first part of the learning journey will center around a process of listening and discernment. Team members will work with seminary leaders and other ministry practitioners to produce a possibility profile, helping the church see its neighbors and stories as though for the first time. The second process will commission churches in a Gratitude Challenge. This challenge will help them recognize that the Holy Spirit is already at work in their community and encourage them to creatively celebrate what God is up to. Congregations will move from the Gratitude Challenge into a story-sharing festival. Finally, those ready to move forward and re-imagine local ministry will be invited to apply for six months of coaching in missional engagement and a visioning trip to a teaching congregation. In joining the work of God in their neighborhoods, congregations will have an opportunity to move from being insular to networked, from an ethnocentric and tribal focus to a view towards ethnic and economic diversity.
Churches in Mission