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The focus of this project is to trace how one church’s self-understanding is being reshaped so that a new missional imagination is emerging as the congregation’s path to the future. Peak Community Church is typical of many congregations—its ministries have been largely inwardly focused. Functioning like a family reunion, the church’s invitation to the community has been “Come be part of what God is doing in here.” Rarely was much thought given to the possibility that God is already doing something out there, in the community. Virtually all ministry involvement took place “in church,” filling roles in its programs.
A change process was initiated following a five-step strategy: Awareness, Understanding, Evaluation, Experiment, and Commitment. Part One of this paper combines the Awareness and Understanding steps to place an X on the map and say, “We are here now.” The objective is to identify the adaptive challenges this congregation faces as it moves toward missional transformation. Part Two proceeds to the Evaluation and Experiment steps by tracing the work of a Missional Action Team, whose assignment was to design experiments addressing the obstacles identified in Part One. Part Three addresses the Commitment step by outlining a plan for ongoing transformation involving a new community partnership for the church.
These steps became the foundation of an ongoing change process that has helped Peak learn to express its life as a community set apart for the world, not from the world. The work is still in progress, but the story of Peak’s journey is encouraging as one way the North American Church can move into God’s future. Other congregations can learn from this model as they seek new ways to become missionally engaged in their communities.
Theological Mentors: Alan J. Roxburgh and Mark Lau Branson
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Kendall, Gregory D., "Learning to Dance: First Steps Toward Missional Transformation" (2011). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 31.