This season of lent has been a great time to consider the role of mission and fasting; what they mean in today’s world and how we can approach them.
Let’s not forget what God said about fasting through the prophet Isaiah in chapter 58:
Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
As we have read, true fasting is sacrificial and missional.
Part of the church existing is about having an internal focus to make disciples. But to make disciples, we also need to be outward focused. Church attendance is declining in the western world, we want to see this trend reversed. We need to reframe what church is, which is more than a service on a Sunday. It is about what we do and who we reach throughout the week.
How to: from nothing to launching a missional outreach project in your local community.
What steps are required?
- Is there issues you are passionate about: refugees or the impact of the cost of living. God might be tugging your heart towards a need.
- We need to be led from a place of listening. Identify the type of mission, go to God and ask for clarity. It’s important to have confirmation from God. He will often confirm through other people.
- What is your community saying: where is the gap, what is missing? What is your community being affected by? Do these line up with your proposed missional activity? This might involve speaking with your local MP, third sector organisations who are based around that area.
Next steps: applying your idea into reality.
- Take in stock, assess options on what you could do. Run as your own church project.
- Look at what is already being done.
Good assessment is key. Do we have the right people around us to support our project? See what roles are needed. Consider the gaps you might have and how you might overcome some challenges that may arise.
Also, a great idea to collaborate with other agencies who can lift you and support you in your journey as you build your network of contacts.
Once you know the need, have assessed the resources, you can’t neglect the finance. There is importance in stating these. Running missional projects often come at a cost, but do not let that hinder or stop you. Set some time aside to look at expenses and fees etc, to have an idea of what you need to make your idea a reality. Why not engage with your local authorities and see what grants are available. You’ll be surprised at what is out there! See what is available for you that can help you set what you need going forward. Tap into financial sources that are readily available for you.
I hope this was helpful for those who are considering running a local outreach project or mission in their local community.
If you are interested in launching any support services that we provide for those on their recovery journey, please reach out to us. We would love to discuss this further with you.