In our staff meetings lately we have been focusing on what is our mission as a team, and what are our individual jobs all about. This is a question that has plagued me since day one, as my job was always ill-defined, and I have had trouble both understanding, and explaining, what that job was. Furthermore, as our ministry team has grown and grown-together, my role has changed. Anyway, our team leader gave us all single-sentence descriptions of our jobs, as he saw them, and we discussed that. Here is my job (it will surprise some of you)
To facilitate the planting of gospel-centered communities across the parish
Now, let's be fair, this isn't what I signed up for. Nor, truly, does it give you any indication of what I currently do. It does, however, tell me what I should be doing.
Facilitate – My job has an external time constraint placed upon it by my wife and I's plans to go overseas (to Mongolia). Thus, I am not called, in any sense of the word, to be a church-planter. I simply don't have that long-term commitment to my local area and local communities. What I do have, is a set of skills that should enable others to do this kind of long-term, gospel ministry in our area. My job is to make that happen: to encourage, equip, inspire, train, push, mentor, lead, model, what it is to plant and pastor a gospel-centered community.
Across the parish – There is a fixed geographical specificity to my job. While this doesn't limit our gospel ministry, it does focus it. I am to think about the local area, its people, its communities, and how they may be reached, how gospel-centered communities may exist in this place.
Planting gospel-centered communities – The language of gospel-centered communities is something we have taken from Chester and Timmis' Total Church. We're committed to building small, missional, gospel-centered, communities! We want to see them grow, serve, proclaim, share, care deepen, and multiply.
The up-shot: the upshot is that I need to continually practice and model the life of a Christian, and a Christian leader at that. That involves me in evangelism, in service, in teaching, in pastoring, in accountability, in all those 'normal' aspects of Christian life. Beyond that, I need to encourage, inspire, teach, train, and equip leaders and planters of more gospel communities, which will continue to do the same, that we might see the spread of gospel communities across and beyond this parish, and the salvation of lost people through Jesus Christ.