Category Archives: Mission Engagement

Generating Regional Profiles

One of the best tools we’ve come across to help you understand your community is the capacity to generate a customised Regional Profile for any area within Queensland.  The document draws on ABS Census data along with a number of other sources and is offered by the Queensland Government Statisticians Office.

The process is a simple one, taking only around five minutes to define the area you are interested in, and then produce the report ready for downloading in PDF format.

Options (apart from defining the geographic area of interest) including choosing what sorts of data you want to consider, with choices including:

  • Demographic data including gender, age, language, culture, dwelling, family
  • Society including education, volunteer, socio-economic indicators
  • Economy including rent, income, employment, occupation, remoteness indicators
  • Industry development including building approvals, residential sales
  • Environment including protected park areas

For all the instructions on how to generate a custom regional profile, read on. Or to figure it our for yourself, head on over to the Regional Profile site and get started. Continue reading

Population Projections: Who’s coming?

When thinking about the future, the science (art? mathematics? guesswork?) of population projections can tell us a lot. How many people are likely to live in a particular place? What kind of housing will they occupy? What jobs will they work in? Will they have kids…and what schools are planned?

All these questions (and the associated answers) can help us think about how we join with God in mission in a particular locality.

And there’s a whole bunch of places where we can start looking for the data.  Click through for a few options to pursue when it comes to tracking down population projections for your community. Continue reading

Regional Profiles: Who lives here?

Screenshot 2014-02-11 14.06.48One of the most helpful things for a local church contemplating how to join with God in mission within the local setting, is to put together a statistical profile of their local community.

This helps us by making clear just who lives within our neighbourhoods, how the neighbourhood is travelling in terms of employment, multiculturalism, education and a host more aspects.

Here are four straightforward ways to assemble this kind of data.

Continue reading

What if…? Toowong UC’s Big Year

Photo 10-02-2015(What if? is an occasional feature, sharing real-world stories from churches and faith communities to encourage your imagination.)

Toowong Uniting Church are trialling the A Big Year digital discipleship resource in an all-age pastorate (mid-size group) meeting regularly during early 2014.

A Big Year is a digital discipleship resource being developed by a partnership that includes the Uniting Church Synod of Queensland. For more info see our summary here, or the Big Year website.

Toowong’s well established pastorate program includes a number of mid-size groups that meet regularly to explore faith, fun, food and fellowship.  The all-age pastorate is a new experiment that includes active participants of all ages, including kids.

Continue reading

A Clear Call: UCA Mission & Evangelism Conference

A Clear Call is a national conference for the Uniting Church to have opportunity to engage in how we share our faith contextually where we each live, love and have our being. Our hope is that it will engage heart, mind and practical applications of sharing the great love of God that was first extended to us.

It is for everyone who would like to share their faith and would benefit from conversation, information and practical examples. It is for all people: lay people, ordained, teams, young adults, all cultures and the full spectrum of theology of the Uniting Church.

It will be be fun, deep, thoughtful, energetic, thought provoking and practical. It will approach faith-sharing from every angle.

This will be an excellent conference for anybody interested in exploring mission and evangelism.  it’s in Adelaide 28-30 March 2014. Head over to the website for more information and to register, or to the event facebook page to interact with others thinking of attending.

Reflecting on Australian Fresh Expressions Conference 2014

Last week marked a special occasion with the first Australian national Fresh Expressions/Mission Shaped Ministry Conference taking place.

Fresh Expressions is a term describing creativity and innovation in approaches to church and faith community. It (the term) emerged from the UK over the last 10 years after a ground breaking report (Mission Shaped Church) set the Church of England, Methodist and later the United Reformed Church on a path exploring fresh approaches.

One of the training tools developed in the UK to help local leadership groups plan and establish fresh expressions is called Mission Shaped Ministry.  The course has been trialled in Australia (specifically in Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne) by a collaboration of churches (Lutheran, Anglican, Uniting, Baptist at least) over the past few years.

This year’s conference grew from that collaboration and drew a variety of participants including  (a) ‘pioneer’ leaders planning or leading ‘fresh expressions'; (b) ministers or leaders of the traditional church wanting to make space for fresh expressions; (c) denominational mission staff; and (d) those who have been involved in the pilot MSM courses.

The gathering was resourced by the UK’s Dave Male and Ben Edson. Dave and Ben both have broad experience in both leading fresh expressions themselves, and in supporting or training other pioneer leaders. Between them they explored a range of topics around the task of pioneering. Here’s a few of the highlights (at least from where I sat): Continue reading

Stetzer on “Going Missional”

Ed Stetzer spoke yesterday at the Transformational Leadership event hosted by Newlife Uniting Church. Along with a whole lot of interesting input around leadership and becoming churches in which transformation happens, Ed walked through the ways in which a church needs to change to become revitalised, to “go missional”.

Here’s some of his outline based on the notes I took (the good stuff from Ed, the errors in translation from me!) in this particular session:

Continue reading

Queensland Community Alliance

In recent months I’ve been privileged to witness the birth of a new initiative in the form of the Queensland Community Alliance.

Imagine:

– a city where strong churches, unions, charities, ethnic associations and other community organisations work together to implement our common values

– a community where we listen to each other’s stories, and these stories inspire us to work together to overcome the pressures we face through developing new leaders

– an alliance based upon an ethos of active citizenship, and confident of our practical problem-solving abilities and non-partisan collective power

The Alliance, modelled after similar community organising groups in Sydney, London and Los Angeles (among many other places), sees faith groups, trade unions and other community organisations join together focused on the common good. It is south-east Queensland focussed initially, with intent to grow more widely over time.

It’s not party political, but will engage with all levels of government with the aim of a better, stronger, fairer society.

It is primarily oriented around building capacity, resilience and relationship, with the ultimate purpose of making our communities stronger.  The organisations involved may share different world views, but ultimately find a lot in common as through their members they seek justice, compassion, empowerment and so on.

There is an open invitation for community groups and churches to meet the alliance and find out more.  The Uniting Church is involved through (initially) the Presbyteries of South Moreton, Bremer Brisbane and Moreton Rivers.

Check out the Queensland Community Alliance website, their facebook page, or the intro video below from its first public meeting.

 

Transformational Leadership – with Ed Stetzer

This December 5th, Newlife Uniting church are hosting a one day event with Ed Stetzer on Transformational Leadership.

Full details over at the Newlife website, event on facebook and registration online.

Looks like a pretty interesting day for church leaders of all varieties, and a nice way to start thinking about 2014.

I’ll be there, come and join in?

What is mission engagement?

TOTW FootprintIn progressing toward a mission engagement framework within the Uniting Church Synod of Queensland, we’re working on language and definitions. A good starting point seems to be to wonder…what is mission engagement?  Here’s a draft response to that question. Your comments, questions and suggestions welcome.

What is mission engagement?

When we talk about mission, use a descriptor like ‘missional’ or talk about mission engagement in the Uniting Church Queensland Synod, there is an important starting point for our conversation.

The Missio Dei.

The phrase Missio Dei translates literally as the mission of God (from the Latin mittere (to send) and dei (God)).  Locked up in these words are the keys to understanding mission, to describing a theology of mission (or missiology), and to our action in mission engagement. Continue reading