Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sydney's plan for the rising of the church

The Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen has given a challenging and provocative presidential address to the Sydney Diocesan Synod. Its worth looking at for his comments on GAFCON, but a significant part of the address is devoted to a campaign of the Diocese called Connect 09:

"Connect 09 is a co-ordinated campaign by all Sydney Anglicans to pray for and personally contact every resident in our Diocese with the word of God, in such a way that that person may connect with us and with the Lord Jesus.

Please notice the following features:
It is a revolutionary campaign, not a program;
a spiritual movement rather than a planned event.
It relies on local people wanting to serve Jesus. It is a prayer campaign first and foremost, prayer for the world we live in, prayer for our community.
It calls on us to pray street by street, suburb by suburb, people group by people group. It is a campaign to make personal contact. Friendship evangelism and multiplying churches remain integral to our mission. But Connect 09 calls on us to drastically expand the circle of our friends and neighbours.

Connect 09 is about the word of God.
We are expecting to make personal contact, to increase the number of our friends.
But in the end we hope to share the word of God in an appropriate way with everyone.
It is by the word blessed by his Spirit that God creates faith, hope and love.
We are trusting that the Lord will already be preparing the hearts of people for an encounter, not just with us but with his Son.

Please notice that we intend to connect with people.
Think about this locally. Every contact should lead to sharing the word of God, and every form of the word should open up a further connection.
Always include an invitation, so that the person can follow up if they wish to do so.
We will be providing a special web-site, where people can find out more about Jesus and have questions answered.

We are seeking to reconnect our churches with their community - to rekindle the sense that we have a spiritual responsibility for our neighbourhoods.
We know that people are looking for community, for belonging.
Connect 09 presents a formidable but energising challenge to our churches:
how can we tap in to this longing for community?
How can we be community?
We are hoping that Connect 09 will transform our churches permanently, because the world we live in, is on our hearts."

There is more, including helpful detail, and attention to needs for training etc.

This is a good plan, which at its heart is simple in the action required, and large in the vision supporting it.

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