We believe that a Community of Hope and Compassion is ‘missional’ not by its sending out of missionary ventures but by its life as a community sent by God into its place in the world (its neighbourhood). The church's origin in the Gospel that Jesus preached and established gives shape to the church's missional identity as representing the reign of God as its community (koinonia), its servant (diakonia) and its messenger (kerygma). As Emil Brunner said, "The Church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning."
There is a pressing need for missional transformation amongst our communities. ‘Missional’ here is not just about innovative evangelistic or social programs—important though these be—but rather an ongoing, profound engagement with the question which the missiologist Lesslie Newbigin asked some thirty years ago in ‘Foolishness to the Greeks’: What would be involved in a missionary encounter between the Gospel and this whole way of perceiving, thinking, and living that we call ‘modern Western culture’?
A most critical challenge for Western churches is to explore what God is doing at the intersection of culture, Bible, and church community—how do we live distinctly as Kingdom people into a post-Christian world?
Out of these conversations will come the shape and form of future Communities of Hope and Compassion. Questions about vision or structure or program-mix are vital, but come after answers about Kingdom and Mission.