Thursday, March 22, 2007

1 Chron 12:32 Report, 35: Getting down to business -- developing and doing gospel-based projects in the local community

Over the past several weeks, we have been looking at mobilising ourselves as the people of God under the mission of the church in, and from, the Caribbean:
1] For such a time as this: our opportunity

2] Getting started: pulling together a circle of interest, discussion, study and prayer

3] The Antioch Timeline challenge: it's high time . . .

4] Working together: principles for working together under God, across our diverse church theologies and traditions.

5] The Wilberforce principles: what worked before can work again . . .

6] The Wilberforce model: how he led a reformation.

7] When change is not progress: the balancing point.

8] The Olaudah Equiano story: drawing on a culturally close exemplar

9] Getting organised: pulling together an MVAT team
Now, we need to draw on all of these strands, as we look at the initiation of projects on the ground. So, we move on to the MVAT Startup Kit, step 5.

First, what sort of projects can we do? Of these, there is an almost endless variety:
Missions awareness, prayer, action and support workshops can be developed and held in churches and even schools and community centres.

A study, prayer and action group for people considering the call to the missions field can be established, as a start-point for sending and supporting short- and long-term overseas missionaries.

A "One-Stop Missions Shop" can be set up in a local Christian bookstore, as a permanent point of contact on missions activities, opportunities and information. ["Kit" available.]

Training seminars on how the gospel speaks to core cultural issues and challenges can be used to spark specific projects that respond practically to such concerns. ["Kit" available.]

Key apologetics issues -- especially those tied to Islam, secularism and neo-paganism in the postmodern globalised age -- can be studied and a series of articles developed and published in the press, to give a sound Christian alternative to the public.

A mini-thinktank and advocacy group can be set up to study and respond to mission-relevant apologetics, development, public policy, law and international issues -- including how the Christian Faith promotes good government and good citizenship, current events, bringing reconciliation to the Middle East situation, the Suffering Church, and more. Position papers and policy proposals can then be published as a guide to local and regional decision makers.

A small business development workshop can help Christians enter into and shine a light in the business world, as well as developing a base for funding missions projects. [Training Programme available.]

A Christian Community College can be launched, to address educational and skills needs in the church and wider community, based on the life- and community- transforming power and relevance of the Christian worldview. (This coud perhaps start out as a mini cybercampus using Internet resources and a cluster of PCs with some mentoring and tutorial support in the local church and/or community, to support distance education. Later on, such a cluster of mini cybercampuses and full campuses might become affiliated with the emerging regional Christian University being developed on the basis of the established JTS/CGST in Jamaica.)

An Arts ministry group can be developed, with foci on drama, dance, poetry, writing, the graphics arts and the Internet. Such a group can then address the range of cultural concerns, showing through Spirit-anointed art forms how the Christian Faith can bring blessing and transformation to the Caribbean.

A Family Life Transformation ministry group can be started, to address the single biggest cluster of core concerns in the Caribbean.

Gospel-based community upliftment initiatives can be launched. (Existing projects could be studied for startup ideas.)

And many more . . .
In short, there are many things we can do, starting right where we are, and right now, and targetting clear goals through specific action steps that use modest and accessible resources.

Next time, DV, we will take a look at how such projects can be practically organised and strategically planned, in light of some notes here. (After that, equally DV, we need to look at fundraising. Then it will be time for looking at International projects.) END

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