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What do I see? A Vision

What do you see when you imagine all that the church could be?

I was told, “Write down your vision! Tell people what you see!”

So one day in November last year, I sat down and had a go.

A vision of the church from Aotearoa New Zealand
Photo by albert renn on Unsplash

I see a ministry of connection, a catalyst ministry out of which new relationships are forged, bringing to birth a kaleidoscope of creative responses to need.

I see a ministry giving its own life away for the sake of others, and going “all in” on a commitment to generosity and a mindset of abundance. (There is more than enough to go around in God’s economy.)

I see a ministry that cares less for form and more for substance. That is not captive to “worldly” visions of success but is instead pursuing heart-level transformation through the Spirit of Christ, who has come to seek and save the lost.

I see a ministry that so raises the eyes and hearts of people to a God-sized vision of the church (in all of her missional potency) that it empowers and enables a multiplicity of diverse and daring ministries to function freely and healthily under her canopy, part of a flourishing, interdependent ecosystem that is the underground/overground movement of Jesus.

I see a ministry which is training leaders, artists and activators in the ways of the Spirit, facilitating and encouraging growth in skill, strengths, and craft but prioritising embodied prayer, the submitted heart, and the freeing of one’s voice for God.

I see a ministry that is equally at home in online spaces as in offline, always attentive to new pathways of the Spirit that are available through fresh or deepening connection with people, whoever they are and whatever reality they find themselves in.

And I see a ministry that is fluent in “the benefits” of the gospel, the actual ways in which Christ practically and powerfully speaks into and heals a multiplicity of human experiences.

I see a ministry that so courageously, daringly and creatively creates space for the free-movement of the gospel that the full diversity of the gifts given by Christ to the church can’t help but flourish.

And as this ministry takes shape, re-moulding the horizon, sharpening vision and naming identity, I see new relational gatherings springing up in a surprising variety of places, finding encouragement, freedom, empowerment and purpose from the catalytic liberty of whatever this thing is…

So there you go. If you’re a praying person, there’s something to pray for. If you’re a resourcing person, there’s something to resource. If you’re a pioneering person, here’s something to pioneer. LET’S GO!

Arohanui & shalom x

aotearoa, church, future, God, holy spirit, jesus, mission, missional church, new zealand, nz

Tom Mepham

Tom Mepham is the full-time minister of Student Soul. He received his Diploma in Ministry from the Knox Centre of Ministry and Leadership in December 2019, prior to which he graduated with a Bachelor of Theology from Otago University in 2017. He is a member of the Southern Presbytery, part of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. Tom is also a writing and performing musician and you can keep up with his explorations at his website.

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