Monday, May 12, 2014

Listening to God - focussing and encouraging mission

The Lutheran Church of Australia's South Australia and Northern Territory asks a fundamental question....
The fundamental question:
What is God’s call on our lives and on our congregations, schools, aged care facilities and other missions, ministries and agencies?
We are not just looking for the best of human wisdom or the latest insight from business or scholarly research. We want to hear God.

We begin to answer that question by listening to God in three different ways
1     Listen to God speaking through his Word
2     Listen to God speaking through each other & those who walked the way before us
3     Listen for God at work in the world

As Christians we never start with a blank sheet of paper. God always takes the initiative. He speaks, we listen and respond. It is not our task to redefine what the church is. God has sent his church into the world with good news. Nor is it our job to decide what the good news is. In fact, we don’t have a mission; we can only join God in his mission.

God gives the gift of leadership, but he doesn’t just speak through bishops, church presidents, pastors and other leaders. He speaks through all members of the church. As Isaiah says, “A little child shall lead them.” [Is 11:6]. We all sit beneath the Word of God, at the feet of Jesus. Of course, we would be foolish to think we are the only ones who do this, or that those who have wrestled with the faith before us have nothing worthwhile to say to us. But we need to begin by listening afresh to the Word of God. That is sometimes difficult when we think we already know what it says. We are helped in listening to what the Word is saying to us today by also listening for what we can learn from our sisters and brothers, including those to whom God has given much and who have thought deeply about it, whether they are in our group, in other places in our world or have gone before us.

The purpose is to initiate a process in our congregations and other communities where through Bible study and listening we develop new maps to guide us on our journey as we participate in God’s mission to our local communities and further afield, including overseas with our partner churches. As in Acts 1:8 we begin locally. If we are engaged in mission in our locally communities we will naturally also want to work with Christian sisters and brothers in Aboriginal ministry and in other countries.

We have provided a resource that assists the people of our church to gather in groups to pray; reflect together on the Word and the wisdom of those who have gone before; to listen to others and to our world and pray some more; and then to feed back to the SA/NT District what they have heard from God about his calling on our lives and our Church. 

To download the complete process and studies visit

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