FIND GOD IN MISSION
For 3 days in March Soul Action, Grace Family Church & 150 leaders gathered from across South Africa. We met for a National Consultation on Integral Mission – God’s mission with nothing left out. We began with everyone celebrating what’s going on in South Africa, before Mark van Straaten, Senior Pastor at GFC, shared how Mk 1:11 talks about God being pleased with Jesus –and us – before any activity. After creating space to ‘be’ & respond to God’s presence, delegates left for their homes, hotels, or to stay with Grace members, in anticipation of Day 2.
Day 2 began with communion and a devotion on how the gap between God’s calling and what others expect can often cause stress. Ben Aldous then spoke on Missio Dei, how Mission is God’s – not ours – and that we to need to find and join His stuff rather than expect God to join ours. Whilst many things would be debated during the Consultation, it would be this single (big) issue that would dominate many of our conversations and reflections.
“I thought a conference on Integral Mission was going to be a big ‘rah, rah…’ & make me feel like I wasn’t doing enough, but it’s so liberating to hear it’s God’s mission – not mine! It’s all been so releasing, so refreshing, so anointed.”
The remainder of Day 2 was spent exploring how we join God’s mission by finding Him in prayer, Holy Reading (Lectio Divinia), listening to others & learning from how people are joining in God’s mission worldwide. In the evening UK singer songwriter Andy Flannagan performed songs from his album “Drowning in the Shallow” and spoke about his experiences of travelling around the world and seeing God’s mission of making broken things whole.
On our final day together the Consultation focused on how Integral Mission involves following God in every area of our life, and that practically this means finding where the needs around us and God’s passions meet. Our speaker, Dr Wynand de Kock, suggested that God is passionate about liberation & redemption, people fulfilling their design & potential and creating space. Since ‘space’ has become a key feature of Soul Action, we didn’t need a second invitation to respond by creating space for delegates to first ‘be’ and then to hear from God together.
Through an afternoon of workshops we explored how following God in the ways of Jesus can begin to impact our daily choices, neighbourhood, community & government. Our 2013 Consultation ended with worship & prayer for the people groups, communities & cities represented by the 150 delegates that had gathered for this years event.
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