Commencing in 2020 representatives from Eastern Zone congregations met approximately once every six weeks to reflect on the fundamentals of congregational life.
• Why does our congregation exist?
• What are our projected congregational circumstances if there is no change?
• What problem-solving approaches are we taking to technical problems?
• What adaptive approaches are we learning and applying to missional activity?
The goal of the group was to ascertain fruitful ways of collaborating in mission across the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.
As the work of the group progressed it quickly became apparent that the current changes in Australian society also needed to be considered. Extensive reflection and study was carried out utilizing LCA New and Renewing staff as well as an external consultant. You can find a full account, and a summary of the group’s important work HERE
The review strongly recommended that the work of collaboration continue, and to that end a new leaders forum has been established which will commence meeting in March, and draw on a fruitful model already utilised in the Geelong region. In addition district assistance with individual congregational ministry review has been made available and some congregations have commenced engaging with this process. Some collaborative ministry has already emerged from the networking that the review meetings provided.
The Eastern Zone review gained insight into the new mission era that we are living in, right here in Australia. It was good to gather together and be reminded that we are not alone in the task of mission, God has given us to each other in congregations, to walk together as synod. Most of all, as we learn about our neighbour, and remind ourselves of what it means to be God’s people, and give ourselves time to prayerfully discern the Holy Spirit’s local plan for us, the joy of mission is waiting to be discovered.
My thanks to all who took part on the review and to John Paech for his excellent chairing of the group. I cannot recommend highly enough the review report as containing some excellent insights that all congregations in the district would benefit from. Please get in touch with me if you would like to discuss the report or its findings and recommendations.