Think Friday: Introducing Donna
We are delighted to introduce you to Donna Jennings, our new Church & Missions Coordinator. Below Donna shares some of her thoughts on mission and her hopes for the church in Northern Ireland.
It can be a bit ‘chicken and egg’ – which comes first? Which one should (in theory) or does (in practice) take priority? Does the church exist for mission? Or is mission one strand of wider church life?
What is mission? How do Northern Irish churches define and shape our understanding and outworking of mission? How do we navigate missional engagement to and within the rapidly changing culture around us?
Defined too narrowly, mission emerges as a detached appendix to church life, for those who are ‘called’. Defined too broadly, mission vanishes into the vagueness of everything, anything… and nothing.
An uninformed engagement with culture can run the risk of shirking our faithful-to-Scripture, salty flavor. Yet any missional activity detached from cultural awareness can veer into an equally blunt irrelevance.
Northern Irish culture is rapidly changing. The Northern Irish Church context has also shifted. At such a time as this, the Evangelical Alliance are well placed to offer a new role of Church & Mission Coordinator as we seek to reimagine the relationship between church and mission in Northern Ireland for 2019.
Defining and shaping mission for our changing time and contexts begins with the wider question - not what - but whose mission?
“Mission is understood as being derived from the very nature of God. It is thus put in the context of the doctrine of the Trinity, not of ecclesiology or soteriology. The classical doctrine of the Missio Dei as God the Father sending the Son, and God the Father and the Son sending the Spirit is expanded to include yet another “movement: Father, Son and Holy Spirit sending the church into the world.”i