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Churches in our network are finding God has brought the nations to us. Many are wanting to engage effectively. Old answers to old questions are not enough. But, what are the questions we need to ask and how will we find better ways to move forward in cross-cultural mission?

In attending the regional CCCNZ events and running a West Auckland get together of our churches, I’ve noted that the questions being asked are “How can we engage our communities better?” “How can we connect to bring the gospel to people who will in turn be
discipled and refresh our churches, bringing glory to God?”

The theme “Renewing Our Mission” is the focus of our 2018 mission summits to be held during March in Hamilton (10th), Christchurch (17th) and Palmerston North (24th).

The focus will be on three sessions being presented by Dr Graham Hill from Australia. Graham has experience as a youth pastor, pastor, lecturer and mission practitioner. The value of the conference will be the sessions where you meet with others from your church or area and work through what the teaching means for your context.

I’m getting excited about what Graham will share with us. It will be thought and practice shaping. In summary, here is what the ‘Renew’ conversation will be about:

Renewing Our Mission through:

1. Responding to What God is Doing Globally

Graham has had extensive conversations and carried out research with people from many non-Western cultures and with our own cultural contexts in the West. He will share about what God is doing globally in church and mission, and what we can learn. He will be picking up key themes from his findings on discipleship, the Spirit, church growth, transforming neighbourhoods, combining social justice and proclamation, church planting, etc., He wants to help us grasp what we learn from these things.

2.Shaping Missional Leadership through Global Conversations

This keynote will get more leadership-specific. Graham will talk about how leadership is being revitalised globally, and what this means for our leadership in the 21st century. He will pick up on major themes on leadership that are developing through global conversations: including servant leadership, cross-cultural leadership, disciple-making leadership, missional leadership and spiritual leadership. Discussion questions will bring thought to our context and how that can be informed by global voices.

3.   Building Ethnically and Culturally Diverse Churches

Our communities are culturally diverse. How are we to be churches that are welcoming of those different to ourselves? What are the ingredients for ethnically diverse churches? What can we learn from others that will enable us to be effective in mission in such a way that those who come to Christ find a church home that embraces them as vital members of the body of Christ? Graham will share insights on leading churches into a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic/diverse future.

Other mission partners will be present as well as some of our key mission partnering organisations. There will be the chance to attend an elective. I’m inviting those in the regions where the summits are happening to offer suggestions related to possible electives. Contact me if you have something you’re doing in mission that others could benefit from hearing about.

GC3 asks you to pray along with us, that the ‘Renew’ Mission Summits will be a time of renewed conversations around what matters in mission.

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Russell Thorp, GC3 Missions Director
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