Missional Lab

Join a community of practice, learning to engage deeply and fully the five practices that can help us join God’s mission in the world:

  • Listen
  • Discern
  • Experiment
  • Reflect
  • Decide

The crises we’re facing both inside and outside the walls of the church are many and they weigh on our hearts: climate change, COVID-19, rampant unemployment, wealth inequality, racial violence, rancorous political division, declining membership, aging populations, crumbling structures . . .

But we know that the God of emancipated Israel and the God of the empty tomb is also the God of the divided nation and the declining church. Missional Lab invites us to look for the Holy Spirit’s creativity even amid the furious upheaval of all that we have known and rested upon in decades past.

This community of practice is structured in two seven-week series.

November 16, 2020 – January 4, 2021 | Part I: Learning the Practices with the Lab Community

Weekly 90-minute zoom calls [Day of week / Time to be decided as a group]

Learn about and practice the five spiritual practices of joining God in a new Missional Age. By the end of this course, each participant will understand and experience the five practices and how these deepen the disciple’s ability to pay attention to what God’s inviting them to see and, in community, discern God’s invitation. In addition, the participant will have developed the skills to discern who in their unique context might be a co-journeyer in the next course, when the disciples become apostles and teach the practices to a handful of others.

January 18 – March 8, 2021 | Part II: Living the Practices with Others in Your Context
Bi-weekly gatherings with those you’ve invited to join you in learning the practices, and bi-weekly gatherings with your community of practice from Part I, to share learnings, ask questions, and reflect on the work that has happened the week before.

What do I need to participate?

  • A good internet connection and a device that can share your voice and video via Zoom.
  • A desire to engage Christian practices that may be new to you
  • A commitment to joining in at the times noted above

This ‘course,’ as you can see, isn’t about reading and writing – it’s about being present to God’s movement in our lives, sharing those stories, and listening to each other. We believe this is in fact a key part of our baptized life.

Who should sign up for this experience? Anyone in ECMN, lay and ordained, who is ready to be part of a community of shared spiritual practice and to take responsibility for gathering others in similar formats for a specific period of time.

Facilitator: Emilia Allen

Recommended Reading List:

  1. Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World: The New Shape of the Church in Our Time by Alan Roxburgh
  2. Incarnational Mission: Being With the World by Samuel Wells
  3. Quietly Courageous by Gil Rendle

What previous participants said:

“The Lab did two things for me that were really helpful. It raised relevant/challenging questions about the mission of our faith communities – what it can/should be; and it provided lots of practical, doable ideas for how to help our communities live that mission. I find myself applying the insights I gained all the time in small and big ways.”

-The Rev. Larry Bussey

“Missional Leadership Lab is the right balance of reading and practice for any person who seeks a deeper experience of being church in the world. The readings, online discussions and the experiments from month to month helped me connect tradition and theology with real practical applications in real time. I learned how to read scripture closely, share the Good News with others, walk with others in community, and envision church in new ways. I learned again that I was a disciple of Jesus who called me to follow him in the Way.”

– The Rev. John Sullivan