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Mission Focused Groups

Here at Stonnington we have been working at identifying and nurturing mission focused groups.  Although we are starting small, with a few people with ideas, we hope and pray that through God's grace they may develop into outward focused mid-sized groups that make a difference in the world and include  mature Christians, new Christians and those who are beginning a spiritual journey. 

We are not the first to go on this journey and so there are people we can learn from.   I have just started reading a book called 'Breakout' which is the story of one church's journey.  Here is a review.  I will probably post some of my own reflections over the next few weeks.

Another book that I have is 'Clusters' by Mike Breen and Bob Hopkins and it draws largely on the experience at St Thomas's in Sheffield.  They talk about the 'Sunday Service trap':

I would argue that one of the disabling effects of Christendom upon the Church is that we have equated church and particularly the congregational expression with a formal Sunday Service that is actually modelled on Mini-cathedral or the biblical temple. I describe this distortion of the mid-size gathering of God’s people as the defective gene disabling us for missions. So, we outline what we believe are biblical social dynamics of a mid-sized congregation or cluster which follows the pattern Paul gives us in Corinthians chapter 11-14 in beings informal, interacting, usually built around food and which is the sum of what everyone brings rather than a front- led presentation. Clusters can enable us to escape this ‘Sunday service trap’.

If you want to do some more reading about mid-sized mission focused groups, here is a pdf article.

David Wanstall, 22/07/2009