Questions and Answers about Mission Initiatives
by INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS
June 2011 Herald
Q. Is the church launching a new program with the introduction of the mission initiatives?
A. The mission initiatives are not programs that begin and end at certain times. They build on our mission statement, the foundation of We Share, and the Enduring Principles. They are continuing emphases that ensure Community of Christ is being faithful now and in the future to the full mission of Jesus Christ.
Q. Do the mission initiatives replace the church’s mission statement: “We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace”?
A. No. The mission initiatives build on our mission statement—a statement that calls us to pursue the whole mission of Jesus Christ, not just the parts that most interest us. The mission initiatives are at the heart of that mission and express what we mean when we say, “We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.”
Q. How do the mission initiatives align with our mission statement?
A. Our mission statement calls us to “proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace,” which is a call to pursue the whole mission of Jesus Christ. The first three mission initiatives align with Christ’s mission as follows:
- Invite People to Christ is about Christ’s mission of evangelism.
- Abolish Poverty, End Suffering is about Christ’s mission of compassion.
- Pursue Peace on Earth is about Christ’s mission of justice and peace.
The next two mission initiatives are about motivating, preparing, and empowering Community of Christ members and congregations for mission:
- Develop Disciples to Serve is about equipping individuals for Christ’s mission.
- Experience Congregations in Mission is about equipping congregations for Christ’s mission.
Q. Do the mission initiatives replace We Share in Community of Christ?
A. No. We Share: Identity, Mission, Message, and Beliefs continues to serve as a foundational document. Its guidance for uniquely expressing our vision and mission as a worldwide faith movement helped develop the mission initiatives. The initiatives will further aid our understanding of “We Share a Mission,” providing common language for us to describe and live out Christ’s mission of evangelism, compassionate ministries, and justice and peacemaking.
Q. How do mission initiatives relate to the Enduring Principles?
A. The mission initiatives build on the Enduring Principles, as well as our mission statement and We Share. The Enduring Principles describe who we are called to be. The mission initiatives describe what we are called to do. The mission initiatives are emphases that ensure our faithfulness now and in the future to Christ’s mission of evangelism, compassionate ministries, and justice and peacemaking.
Q. How do the mission initiatives relate to signal communities…holistic evangelism?
A. The mission initiatives add to our understanding of holistic evangelism because they help us understand that we must engage fully in each initiative to successfully reflect Christ’s holistic mission. To continue Christ’s mission effectively, we also must equip disciples and congregations to engage fully in each initiative. When a congregation lives and does Christ’s mission of evangelism, compassionate ministries, and justice and peace, then it is a signal community that signals God reigns in individual disciples’ lives and in the congregation’s life.
Q. How will the mission initiatives affect the church’s ministries, staff, and budget?
A. From this point forward, all ministries, personnel, and resources of the worldwide church will be focused on the whole mission of Jesus Christ through the five mission initiatives. All income sources and related expenses will be applied to the mission initiatives starting with the next fiscal year, which will begin July 1. This will empower us to do the mission of Jesus Christ with greater determination, alignment, wholeness, and effectiveness.
Q. Mission Tithes are increasing. Will the mission initiatives continue that trend?
A. Moving to mission initiatives is the natural next step for a prophetic people who are going deeper in their discipleship and call to engage fully in Christ’s mission.
Starting July 1 with the church’s new fiscal year, all giving to World Mission Tithes will be aligned with mission.
All Community of Christ ministries, programs, services, staff, and budgets will support the five mission initiatives. As people understand the connection between giving and mission, we believe contributions will increase, and the contributor base will grow.
Q. Will the worldwide ministries side of the contribution envelope in the USA change?
A. Yes, starting September 1, the right side of the envelope will list the mission initiatives. People can give to all the initiatives, to one, or some initiatives. They also may indicate they want their contribution to be used where needed most. The August Herald will provide more information about changes to the contributor envelopes.
Q. How will we stay connected with how people throughout the worldwide church are fulfilling the mission initiatives?
A. The church will communicate regularly about what is being achieved in each mission initiative, progress toward the tithing goal associated with each mission initiative, and what is yet needed. New mission stories will be posted regularly at Community of Christ’s microsite, www.GiveYour10.org. You are invited to share stories and photos of what you and your congregation are doing to pursue mission on this site and to contribute online.
Q. How long will the mission initiatives be a priority?
A. The mission initiatives are unceasing emphases that align us with and prepare us for the mission of Jesus Christ. As disciples of Jesus Christ and Community of Christ members, we continue Christ’s mission as expressed in the mission initiatives. There never will be a time when Christ’s mission is no longer our priority. Christ’s mission is our mission!