Linda Jones from the Liverpool Diocese in England has come up with some suggestions to help individuals, parishes, vestries and dioceses engage in God’s mission. The following tools can be used to help Christians realize and identify the important role we all play.
The Five “T” Approach to the Five Marks of Mission
Tell To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God
Teach To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
Tend To respond to human need by loving service
Transform To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
Treasure To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Ways to Engage
- Identify five people who could facilitate a group for each of the five “T”s.
- Allocate five spaces at the venue for each group to meet in
- Teach on each one
- Invite people to go to the group they find matches them most closely
- Encourage the group to work out at least one way in which they could engage in God’s mission from their “T”
Linda has found that when she used this approach the result brought relief and realization: relief that not everyone is called to Tell (to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom) and a realization that everyone has a part to play in God’s mission.
“I commend this to you as a way of encouraging the people of God to move up and move out in God’s mission.”
The 10 Tests
The Diocese of Liverpool uses the following 10 criteria to identify whether structures and initiatives help or hinder growth.
Does each area of work or initiative:
- Encourage growth numerically or in spirituality?
- Support and reflect the church that we wish to become?
- Affirm mutual support and collaboration within the diocese?
- Strengthen relationships between parishes?
- Recognize the ethos and the characteristics of the diocese particularly highlighting issues peculiar to the diocese?
- Take appropriate account of the sustainability and viability issues of church buildings and congregations?
- Provide for accountability throughout every step of the initiative within the diocese and beyond?
- Present an appropriate stewardship challenge?
- Provide appropriate support for local decision-making?
10. Is the proposed system or process transparent and easily understood?
Linda says: “The Liverpool Diocese is now in the process of applying these 10 tests to any initiative that we are thinking about. Hopefully by doing this it will encourage us to think collaboratively, look wider, and apply the concept of subsidiarity to enable us to be good stewards of God’s giftings for the building up of his kingdom.”