Sunday, June 19, 2011
The Great Co-Mission for Austin
Just to reiterate the words from this morning - the days of our area PCA congregations acting as if we are competitors for members rather than co-laborors in the harvest fields is long past. The time has come for a new approach because the need for workers in the harvest is so acute. We have been summoned by Christ to his Great Co-Mission:
* Imagine the Austin City Presbyterian Partnership -
- We give up the right to plant 'our' churches and work together to plant HIS!
- We share our resources of leadership, wisdom, and finance to strengthen existing congregations
- We devote ourselves to developing the seminary and other leadership equipping initiatives to raise the next generation of pioneer pastors and servants for the House of the Lord.
What could happen:
- 10 new area congregations in the next 10 years (and maybe sooner than that, should God choose to grant his blessing).
- Raising up in the House of Faith right here, and Recruiting from around the country, gifted and called men and women to serve in the Gospel
- A Consortium of Blessed Business Leaders purchasing ten five acre plots around Austin, or existing buildings, for use by new congregations over the next 10 years.
Think about planting not only geographically but ethnically; think about Gospel work at UT and among the massive student population here from all over the world; think about the need for coordinated mercy ministry all over the city. Ladies this means you too have to re-think your labors - yes there must be fellowship, study, discipleship and instruction along the lines of Titus 2, and prayer; but you are also summoned to take the Gospel beyond the walls of the Church through a whole range of possible ministries, and serve alongside Deacons as their assistants (just as the PCA's Book of Church Order says!) to help the broken and distressed.
Our congregations can be multiplied as disciple making communities all over this area. As I said, it will be messy at times; but lets get in the kitchen and get to work so that in the end, no matter how messy it may be, the loaves are baked and the hungry are fed.
This approach is suffused with the Gospel Spirit of Jesus Christ, who humbled himself and made himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a servant and being willing to die, in order to win the world he'd been sent to save. Is our heart to preserve our status and protect our boundaries or is it to promote the Kingdom and equip the saints? Are we here to polish a monument or pursue the cause of the Kingdom?
The mission of discipleship IN our homes must continue.
The mission of making disciples FROM our homes must be taken up with fresh zeal.