I attended this workshop hoping to bring back some tangible "how to's" for our congregations that are hesitant about mission involvement. Instead Rev. Weingartner suggested that their are no "how to's" and that the only way to move members into mission is to become a "missional congregation." If you've read any of the thousands of books on the Missional Church, especially stuff by Alan Roxburgh, Leslie Newbingdon or Daryl Guder, you've experienced his presentation. I'm not going to summarize it here.
He concluded with the following five principles:
- Congregations must redefine their purpose to be God's agent in the world and be willing to radically risk everything for the gospel.
- Congregations must redefine mission participation to include every follower of Jesus. Our baptismal vows are our commission into mission.
- Congregations must redefine the mission field to include "Jerusalem" - or the area outside of their doors and in their community. The majority of young people growing up in the United States today will have no experience in a faith community.
- Reclaim wholeness of the gospel. Practice what we preach and preach about what we practice.
- Renew and reestablish relationships with the global church. God is using the global church to renew the church in the United States, Canada and Europe.
- Pray for a PC(USA) Missionary. Give him/her $100/year.
- Encourage members who like to travel to visit PC(USA) missionaries and or partner churches at work in the areas through which they journey.
- Sponsor mission visits to our congregations.
- Send the session on a mission trip.
- Remember that being the church is not about taking care of ourselves.