Discipleship in Mission + Resourcing Base
Christ-followers covenanting together constitute a local church. Their ongoing discipleship and mission activity in and around their local area give the church a presence and ‘life’ across that local area. Every member discipleship is vital and every member mission is also vital. That is why we talk of every believer discovering their Discipleship in Mission – their walk with Christ hand in hand with their witness to the world.
Naturally the believers come together for corporate worship, teaching, prayer and supporting one another. The body of believers also benefit from facilities such as buildings in a central location, a shared budget for mission and ministry, a leadership team and much more. All these things effectively give a resourcing base which hopes to support each member with their discipleship in mission.
It is important to understand that the ‘church’ is the whole body of believers, their discipleship and witness in the city. The ‘church’ is therefore like an outer ring, with fuzzy boundaries as opportunities come and go, people engage or perhaps disengage. Nor will it be perfect – probably a bit squashed and distorted in places!
Within that image is the resourcing base like the hub of the wheel, giving it a centre with shared values and vision. From the base will come lines of priority and development – much like spokes of the wheel – as shown in this diagram:
Three things are important to keep in mind:
- The real life is in the outer ring. Mission activity (e.g. mid-week clubs), IPODs, and even small groups all belong here because they are all about discipleship in mission.
- The central base is there to resource the bigger, wider work that brings Kingdom Life across the city, not the other way round!
- The resourcing base should not be allowed to become a consuming base, that is so busy and labour intensive that it tends to consume people rather than resource them!