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Mission First! planning group makes progress

By December 3, 2015December 22nd, 2015No Comments

missionfirstPromote Mission First

2015 Disciples Mission Fund gifts must be received in Treasury Services by January 8, 2016 in order to receive credit for 2015.

What is Mission First

Everybody wants the world to be a better place. Disciples want to help. In 2016 and 2017, Disciples are piloting a new way of answering God’s call to shared mission. At a series of Mission Gatherings, we’ll learn of faithfulness in ministry and listen for new opportunities to serve. A Mission Council will collect what is learned and identify a focus for mission. Disciples ministries from all the expressions of the Church will create a new plan for collaborating within that shared focus – congregations, regions, general ministries and church institutions – so that together, as Disciples of Christ, we can make a greater impact showing God’s love in the world.


The implementation team for Mission First! has been hard at work throughout October and November refining the design for the mission gatherings which will take place across the United States and Canada in 2016. Subgroups have been working on worship, questions, data gathering techniques and other logistics. They have also run several test gatherings – at Disciples Center and in two congregations – to find the best ways to approach the work.

Generally, the mission gathering will go something like this: after an introduction to a few key concepts and a short time of worship, small groups will talk about their experiences of mission with a designated facilitator. They will identify possible areas of focus in mission for Disciples today. The small groups will share their thoughts with the larger group. The responses will be recorded and added to the feedback from all the mission gatherings.

In December of 2016 a Mission Council will meet to surface common themes from the Mission Gathering input. The Mission Council will identify a shared focus in mission for Disciples today – something Disciples can become known for. As the various ministries of the Church collaborate around the key focus area or areas, Disciples will make a difference.

Meanwhile, the Administrative Committee of the General Board is functioning as a prototype for a Governing Board to do the business of the Church in mission. The General Board meeting in 2017 will propose the way forward after this pilot.

The implementation team includes Mark Anderson, president, National Benevolent Association; Denise Bell, regional minister, Georgia; Lonora Graves, chair, General Board member; Lynette Li, director of communication and transformation, North American Pacific/Asian Disciples; John Mobley, regional minister, Alabama/NW Florida; Cathy Nichols, executive for mission personnel, Global Ministries; Bernice Rivera, member, General Board; Tony Rodriguez, moderator, General Board and General Assembly; and Sharon Watkins, general minister and president. Kenetha Stanton is serving as project manager.

Get re-inspired. You can watch (or share) General Minister and President Sharon Watkins’ address from the 2015 General Assembly.