Thursday, May 15, 2014

Healthy Church #intro ...

Here at suttonsa the leadership team have been considering important questions that surround what constitutes being a healthy church. Robert Warren's book 'The Healthy Church Handbook' has been a useful companion, while not purporting to having all the answers his research has presented a useful framework for discussion. 

I first came across his material while teaching at William Booth College and found it a refreshing, alternative means of theologically reflecting on the life of the church, without being swamped by success by measurement, strategy by 'key performance indicators' and other 'borrowed' idioms that are as easily applied to selling more baked beans than your competitors at a supermarket!

Asking what would you expect to find in a healthy church was a good starting point, and interesting to find some common ground with Warren's material, most of what we brainstormed could be identified. Consequently working through the '7 Mark's' has helped develop a profile of who we are, and where we are as a church, giving opportunity to explore our strengths while looking at areas that may represent a challenge as we move forward. 

Capturing and processing my thoughts here will help me and I hope offer a means of wider involvement should you wish!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The values of Renovaré ...

It always seems a shame when we fall into the trap of looking for the next discipleship model and programme, striving rather than relaxing with becoming who we are intended to be.  It has been many years since I stumbled upon Renovar√© and its balanced vision and practical approach to discipleship, I guess I was looking for the next model and programme when I found it! But in reality it has become a gateway and a journey companion in exploring the purposes of God for me. It has been good to recently be reminded of the value's that I found attractive and helpful.

  • LIFE WITH GOD The aim of God in history is the creation of an all-inclusive community of loving persons with God himself at the centre as its prime Sustainer and most glorious Inhabitant
  • THE AVAILABILITY OF GOD'S KINGDOM We can experience genuine, substantive life in God's Kingdom through Jesus Christ, beginning now and continuing through all eternity
  • THE MEANS OF GRACE Amongst the variety of ways God has given for us to be open to his transforming grace, we recognise the crucial importance of intentional spiritual practices and disciplines (such as prayer, service or fasting)
  • A BALANCED VISION OF LIFE IN CHRIST We seek to embrace the abundant life of Jesus in all its fullness: contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical, and incarnational
  • A PRACTICAL STRATEGY FOR SPIRITUAL FORMATION We encourage the creation of Spiritual Formation Groups and other forms of spiritual friendship as solid foundations for mutual support and nurture  
  • THE CENTRALITY OF SCRIPTURE We immerse ourselves in the Bible: it is the greatest revelation in history, a sure guide for growth in Christlikeness, and an ever rich resource for our spiritual formation
  • THE VALUE OF CHRISTIAN TRADITION We are engaged in the historical "Great Conversation" on spiritual formation developed from Scripture by the Church's classical spiritual writings
More Here

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

More Rohr on Grace

"Grace is not something God gives; grace is who God is. Grace is God’s official job description. Grace is what God does to keep all things that God has created in love alive—forever."