work-1024x533How about your church? Or your mission agency? Perhaps you have personal goals or dreams that you've crystallised into words to keep them at the front of your mind.

For a while, now GC3's statement has been Effective Mission, Every Church. But over the last year and a half, as we've reflected on it, prayed and discussed it as a board, we've felt that it... well, it's not quite enough.

We've felt the need for something that says what GC3 does more clearly. We've wanted something that captures our sense of purpose and how we want to do the stuff of GC3. That's what a mission statement is for. Here's what we've settled on:

Inspiring, assisting, connecting churches in God's mission

We've also felt the need for a better articulation of our vision – What is our hope? What dream inspires us as an organisation? What vision clarify es our strategising and planning? We've wanted something that lifts our eyes above this meeting agenda, those financial details, new legal compliance demands; something that uplifts us all – individuals, churches, agencies – placing us squarely in the reality of what God is doing. We're very mindful that GC3 exists to serve and equip our network of churches. So GC3's vision statement needs to be one that grabs you too, one that makes you say, "Yeah, that's what we want for our church too," or, "That's the kind of person I want to be." Of course, as God's people, we are not in want of a grand, uniting, inspiring vision. The tricky thing is capturing it in one sentence!
Here is what we've settled on:

Every church purposefully participating in God's redeeming mission through effective local and global ministry relationships.

Each word in these statements is like the tip of an iceberg; each one represents a depth of prayerful discussion that would be well worth unpacking. But a few tidbits will have to suffice.

You'll notice that both statements refer to God's mission – that was a major point in our discussions. As Chris Wright says, mission is, "our committed participation as God's people, at God's invitation and command, in God's own mission within the history of the world for the redemption of God's creation1." There are several healthy challenges for us all in this:

1. It challenges this environment we are part of called 'the missions marketplace' (with all that implies of a competitive capitalist nature!). Our role is always to work in partnership with each other – churches, individuals, agencies – because we are part of something vastly bigger and more important than ourselves.

2. It humbles us by having us listen for God's invitation and command rather than choosing what we will and won't do based criteria that are more our own than Spirit-led. At the same time this invitation to participate in our Father's work is a reminder of the incredible honour of being God's children.

3. It reminds us that purposeful participation in God's own mission is not something God's people do by choice, whether as individuals, churches, or organisations. Our NZ society, where even our best expressions of family and community are profoundly influenced by individualism, has little feel for the biblical concept of children acting as their father's representative and doing their father's work. (This is an area where we have
much to learn from non-Western societies.) As God's children it is our privilege and duty to do our Father's will, which is that his Kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.

We at GC3 hope that these new vision and mission statements help you get a better feel for who are and what we do. We hope our vision is one we can partner in together. No wording is quite enough. And the words are only useful insofar as we put them into practice. We ask you to pray for us as we seek to inspire, assist and connect our churches locally and globally to participate and effectively in God's incredible redeeming work.

Chris Hill, GC3 Board Member

1 Christopher Wright, The Mission of God (Nottingham: IVP, 2006), 22-23.


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