Neighbourhood Matters was delighted to run a workshop at MosaiX church in Chatswood recently on the very important practice of “neighbouring”.
Pastor Faye Lo who leads the congregation has been shaping the church to think missionally for years. It’s not easy to help Christians today understand that the church exists for the world not for itself. Once we understand that it’s not that the church has a mission but that God’s mission has a church, this can turn everything in Christian culture upside down. This is our hope at Neighbourhood Matters.
Karina spoke on the importance of thinking missionally and referred to a biblical understanding of mission. The Bible does not so much talk about mission, rather the Bible is the story of a God who is on mission! Once we start with a good biblical understanding of mission, the church realises that it no longer exists for itself – self preservation – but rather for the sake of the world.
Armen spoke about missional practices from Karina’s book Urban Spirituality: Embodying the mission of God. When we start asking “God what are you up to in the neighbourhood? rather than “God what are you up to in the church?” radical things begin to happen. Simple practices like checking in on your neighbour when the lift is not working or buying products for them during a time of crisis can embody the love of God in very deep ways.
We also ran a project time at the end where we asked groups to think about their strengths, talents and gifts. We then began thinking about how those talents could connect with community needs. Afterwards we asked groups to come up with a project that they might engage in with the community to meet the needs of the neighbourhood.
The groups had some great ideas and people asked thought-provoking questions around what it really means to love your neighbour. Questions like “But what if I don’t have the time?”, “When do we ‘evangelise’ to people?” and “How can I connect with my neighbours if I don’t really spend time in my neighbourhood?” were really helpful. We all struggle with what it looks like to live out the mission of God and work with God so it’s good to talk about these issues together and see what creative solutions we can come up with.
.We look forward to catching up with MosaiX in a few months to see how they are doing with their project work.
If you would like Neighbourhood Matters to run a workshop at your church please contact us. We would love to hear from you!