We hear a lot about a congregation having a mission statement these days. If we only had a perfect mission statement our congregation will be saved as new members come flooding in to solve our financial problems and our falling membership. More deeply, we long that our apparent disparate lives will find common cause and quit fussing with one another.
I do believe that needs based conversations, behaviors, and relationships are key to the good life. So I'm not suggesting that we give up on sharing with one another our deepest longings, woundings, and gladness. Instead, I'm wondering if we in our congregations can come to a place where we share a mission based on the wisdom and experience we have as a people of faith. We know what we and others need, and we know what makes us glad. The challenge comes in the process of determining needs and gifts. When in our lives, and even in most congregations, do we slow down enough so that we can focus, go deep, and listen to life arising through us so that we may best serve life?
The mission then that might be widely shared with other congregations is process oriented. How can we live deeply so that others can live well? In short, the mission is a way of life.
Here is an example.
Listen, open, serve
Listen to our deepest selves
Open to life's gifts
Serve needs greater than our own
We seek to know when needs are met, and not met. We then mourn, celebrate, and act according to how life seeks the greatest possible fulfillment in our congregations.
If we can do this, we will, as in the words of the great John Belushi in the movie, Blues Brothers, "be on a mission from God."