The goal of this study was to understand how missional renewal could take place in the Christian and Missionary Alliance (herein C&MA). It was proposed that by employing the Missional Change Model, the vision of A. B. Simpson, the founder of the C&MA, could be re-engaged to produce missional transformation. The thesis was tested by drawing together a group of nine pastors who engaged in a ten-month process of learning, reflection, and ministry experimentation.
The group of nine, entitled “Team Oz,” was exposed to the writings of A. B. Simpson and his boundary-crossing legacy. Also, they were introduced to key theological frameworks central to a missional understanding, including an exploration of the Trinity, the missio Dei, and hospitality. Important social frameworks were presented, including systems thinking, the Missional Change Model, and technical versus adaptive change.
Team Oz attempted to define what a missional church and denomination would look like. This led to an evaluation of the current practices of the C&MA and, specifically, the identification of key adaptive challenges that are standing in the way of missional renewal. These challenges were presented to the National Board of the C&MA. Concurrent with the Team Oz meetings, some participants were involved in missional experiments. All participants were interviewed at the beginning and end of the process to assess change in missional understanding and behaviour.
The study showed that there has been growth in the missional imagination of some participants. Importantly, it was noted that no single approach can be used to bring missional renewal. Multiple approaches that take into account the ethnicities and generations of all members will be needed. Further, additional research is required to see ways that the missional paradigm and practice can be applied specifically in a first-generation ethnic church.
Content Reader: Alan Roxburgh, DMin
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Russell-Brown, Rod, "Missional Change in the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia" (2012). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 89.