The central mark of a missional congregation remains constant – Resurrection: A missional congregation lives in the power of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In the Risen Christ all things are possible. (Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director for Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission, ELCA)
A culture of abundance is a mark of a missional congregation. As people of faith completely covered by God’s grace, assuming scarcity harms the community’s witness. Assuming scarcity and advocating fear stifles the generosity of individuals and community.
A culture of abundance releases generosity and celebrates, even in difficult times, the amazing grace of God who provides enough for all. Generosity is not contingent on wealth or economics, it is a matter of the heart, a matter of faith. A culture of abundance allows all the gifts of the community to be celebrated and put to good use in God’s world. It asks everyone to participate and see their place within God’s creation as a steward without regard for class, status, or tradition.
This fall pastors and leaders have participated in Excelling in Mission…A Generous Undertaking events in the Southeastern Minnesota Synod. Resources for mission planning and mission support are available online (semnsynod.org/excelling-in-mission) or from synod staff and other leaders. Planning in mission and mission support assumes abundance – that communities of faith, true to their tradition and looking to the future, know that God is at work and their work is God’s.
Congregations with a culture of generosity that trust God’s abundant goodness witness to the power of God’s grace and their hopefulness in Christ. Such congregations are flexible in mission and able to address needs with open hands and hearts.