Mission Covenant – Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT

Earlier this evening my pastor, Jamie Long, drew my attention to the Mission Covenant which is currently being currently being developed by the Directions 2012 Mission Taskforce for the Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT.

The Mission Covenant is a measurable declaration of commitment to local and global mission.

At first glance it looks pretty good.

MISSION COVENANT

Christian mission is the announcement and demonstration of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in the way of Jesus, to our world, both locally and globally.

We acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ and recognise that it extends over all creation and all aspects of human life and society. We believe it is his Lordship that gives us our mission. And we embrace our calling to be committed to both its verbal announcement and its demonstration through acts of compassion, generosity, hospitality and justice.

As a community of faith within the union of Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT, we therefore commit to live out the following marks of a mission-shaped church:

1.   A mission-shaped church
ANNOUNCES the Lordship of Jesus
locally and globally.1

This will be evidenced by:

a.    Regular opportunity for response to the Gospel within the life and mission of the church;

b.    Regular opportunities for members to hear of evangelistic projects and needs they might commit to;

c.    A regular assessment of the needs of our immediate neighbourhood/locality to determine whether certain ethnic, demographic or sub-cultural groups are not hearing the announcement of the Lordship of Jesus;

d.    A corporate commitment to at least one local and one global evangelistic focus;

e.    Active and prayerful consideration as to how we can be involved with planting a new congregation;

f.    A commitment to regularly pray as a whole church for non-Christians to turn to Jesus whether they be found locally or globally.
2.   A mission-shaped church
DEMONSTRATES the Lordship of Jesus
locally and globally1.

This will be evidenced by:

a.    The fostering of a community life that models compassion, generosity, hospitality and justice as expressions of the love of Jesus;

b.    Regular opportunities for members to hear of aid-related projects and needs they might commit to;

c.    A regular assessment of the needs of our immediate neighbourhood/locality to determine whether certain ethnic, demographic or sub-cultural groups are not benefiting from the demonstration of the Lordship of Jesus;

d.    A corporate commitment to at least one local and one global initiative aimed at alleviating suffering or showing practical love in Jesus’ name;

e.    An annual review of our budget and the degree to which our missional priorities are reflected in our financial commitments;

f.    A commitment to regularly pray as a whole church for the needs of our world, locally, regionally, nationally and globally.

3.   A mission-shaped church
does mission IN THE WAY OF JESUS.

This will be evidenced by:

a.    Regular teaching from the Gospels about the missional priorities, lifestyle and message of Jesus, and the fostering of a faith community that reflects this;

b.    Regular opportunities for members to discern their own missional vocation;

c.    Regular training and resourcing for members to be able to incarnationally develop friendships and share their faith in culturally and relationally effective ways;

d.    Active reliance on the empowering Spirit in the announcement and demonstration of Jesus Lordship;

e.    Regular assessment of the time commitments of pastoral staff and lay leaders to determine that too much of their time is not spent on ‘in-house’ church activities and that they are freed to engage regularly with unchurched people;

f.    Regular teaching on the needs of our world and ways members can become actively involved.

For more on the Missional Covenant see www.missionone.com.au

I like the fact that the Missional Covenant includes a commitment to both announcement and demonstration, both locally and globally. Very holistic. I like also that the way of the messengers is seen as part of the message, and that the commitment includes measures for personal and group accountability. I’ll have to reflect some more on whether it could be more comprehensive, but I’ll also have to reflect more on how I measure up.

What do you think? Is this something you think could be useful? Is this something you could commit to? Would you suggest any changes?

2 thoughts on “Mission Covenant – Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT

  1. It looks good. The hard part is always to practice what we commit to. At times like this I try to recall a previous time we drew up something like it, and consider how we’re going at it.

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  2. Well, one of the reasons i am taking particular interest is that I have been nominated for election as the Mission / Evangelism team leader for next year. I am wanting something that’s measurable, that helps us to keep ourselves accountable.

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