The rhythms of a missional church: #4 speak

We in the Edge Network have adopted five rhythms in an attempt to encapsulate what it means to live our values. Each month for the past few months someone has been designated a ‘rhythm champion’ to encourage people to think about and practice the rhythm of the month. Here are the notes I produced to support this.

4. speak

the challenge

Each week we aspire to tell people the story of Jesus and our story of Jesus, making Jesus a normal part of our conversations. And we speak to God through prayer, recognising our dependence on him in all things.
links to our identities and values

Identities * Because Jesus is our Prophet, we are the light of God … We witness to his liberating truth through our words and actions. * Because the Holy Spirit is God’s empowering presence, we are the temple of God. We are saints, people set apart for God, and the home in which God lives.

Values * 1. The priority of the gospel: We are committed to filling ordinary life with gospel intentionality, pastoring one another with the gospel and sharing the gospel with unbelievers … * 2. Mission through community: We are committed to communicating the gospel message in the context of a gospel community … * 7. Growing by starting churches and church planting networks: We are committed to starting new congregations … * 8. Prayer as a missionary activity: Recognising that God is the primary agent and orchestrator of mission, we view prayer as a missionary activity. We want prayer to be both a regular community discipline, and an impromptu response to needs and opportunities. * 9. Everyone exercising gospel ministry: We are committed to every Christian seeing themselves as a missionary and exercising gospel ministry in every aspect of life …

biblical foundations

We speak to the world, telling people the good news that Jesus is Lord. God rules through his word (Psalm 29). He creates through his word (Genesis 1:4; Psalm 33:6). He shapes his people through his word of promise (Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 6:1-8). He governs history through his prophetic word (1 Kings 13). His extends his kingdom through his word (Mark 4:13-14). We are called to extend Christ’s kingdom by proclaiming his word, calling on people to submit to the coming King and be reconciled with God (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:20-21). * We speak to God, recognising our dependence on him. We have access to the throne of heaven through the death of Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-22). The love of the Father, the blood of the Son and the help of the Spirit ensure our prayers are acceptable and effective. (Our prayers are not effective because of their length, fervour or eloquence; nor because our spirituality, goodness or knowledge.) God answers our prayers in his love and wisdom (giving us what is good for us, but not always what we want). Our passion for prayer reflects our sense of dependence of God: he is the primary agent of mission and change.

Bible stories

1 Kings 13 – the power of God’s word. * Luke 8:1-15 – sowing the word of God. * Luke 8:22-56 – the power of Jesus’ word. * Acts 16 – people are changed as Christians speak God’s word. * Numbers 14; Isaiah 36-37; Daniel 9 – prayer is focused on God and his glory. * Acts 12:1-19 – the power of prayer.

putting it into practice

*    Identify together some one-liners that can be used in conversation to talk about Jesus.
*    Think about how the gospel relates to a current news story.
*    Are there routine activities you could do with someone else so you can talk about Jesus together?
*    Adopt a local café and local shops with a view to talking with people about Jesus.
*    Make sure you talk about Jesus in the coming week whenever you meet up with Christians.
*    Think of something you could share from your morning Bible reading with your friends.
*    As a community organize a special event with a gospel talk or discussion.
*    Volunteer with a local community group or join a club with a view to talking to people about Jesus.
*    Take a cake round to a neighbour and be intentional about talking about Jesus.
*    Invite people for a movie night and then discuss the message and values of the film.
*    Hold a half night of prayer for the mission of the church.
*    Ask people if you can pray with them or tell them that your church will pray for their needs.
*    Go on a ‘prayer walk’ – walk round the area using what you see to prompt your prayers.
*    Identify two or three key mission opportunities and encourage everyone to pray for them each day.