READER MINISTRY A servant ministry An equipping ministry A ministry which earns trust through personal example
CARRYING OTHERS ACROSS FROM CHURCH TO WORLD FROM SCRIPTURE TO LIFE FROM PARALYSIS TO HOPE
WHAT IS NEEDED Is not more faith But restored hope Hope includes faith ‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ Hebrews 11:1
CHRISTIANITY IS HOPE 'From first to last, and not merely in the epilogue, Christianity is eschatology, is hope, forward looking and forward moving and therefore also... transforming the present.' Jurgen Moltmann
GOSPEL AND CULTURE ‘Culture is the context in which people find their identity....the gospel judges every culture....challenging some aspects of the culture while endorsing others for the benefit of the Church and the society.’ Lambeth 88
THE GIFT OF REPENTANCE ‘If the decline of the Church is ultimately caused neither by the irrelevance of Jesus, nor by the indifference of the community, but by the Church’s failure to respond fast enough to an evolving culture, to a changing spiritual climate, and to the promptings of the Holy Spirit
THE GIFT OF REPENTANCE Then that decline can be addresses by the repentance of the Church. For true repentance involves turning around and living in a new way in the future. A diocese or parish which, out of repentance, grows a new relevance to the contemporary world, may also grow in numbers and strength, because the Spirit of Jesus has been released to do his work.’ Bob Jackson
DOUBLE LISTENING ‘Double listening is the faculty of listening to two voices at the same time, the voice of God through Scripture and the voices of men and women around us. The voices will often contradict one another, but our purpose in listening to them both is to discover how they relate to one another.’ John Stott
DOUBLE LISTENING LISTEN TO THE WORLD LISTEN TO THE GOD’S WORD BRING THE TWO TOGETHER
DOUBLE LISTENING Those involved in the starting and sustaining of further and fresh communities of faith – carry with them an existing understanding of the faith and of church. They do not come with empty hands, but the next task is to have open ears.
DOUBLE LISTENING Attention to the mission context, or listening to the world, comes before discerning how the inherited Christian tradition works within it.
DOUBLE LISTENING Listening to the context of the world shapes what emerges.
DOUBLE LISTENING Then the second aspect of double listening validates it, through connection with the Faith uniquely revealed in the Scriptures. Double listening is a process that enables something to evolve as its context changes. It seeks to hold in tension both a creative engagement with context and a faithfulness to the good news in Jesus.
FROM SCRIPTURE TO LIFE - From Promise To Fulfillment
FROM SCRIPTURE TO LIFE Readers are ministers of the Word. A ministry centred on and under the authority of scripture.
THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE ‘Is really a shorthand for ‘the authority of God exercised through scripture; and God’s authority is not merely his right to control and order the church,
THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE but his sovereign power, exercised in and through Jesus and the Spirit, to bring all things in heaven and on earth into subjection to his judging and healing rule.’
THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE ‘God is at work through scripture (in other words through the Spirit who is at work as people read, study, teach and preach scripture) to energize, enable and direct the outgoing mission of the church, genuinely anticipating thereby the times when all things will be made new in Christ.’ N.T.Wright ‘Scripture + the Authority of God’
THE BIBLE IS OUR CONSTITUTION ‘The constitution of an ongoing community’ Francis Fiorenza The way God's people move ahead into his future while remaining rooted in and governed by what He has done and revealed in the past.
THE BIBLE AS THE CHRISTIAN GRAND STORY … the biblical story of the world from creation to consummation. It is the story of the Trinitarian God's relationship with his creation. It sees God as the beginning and end of all things, their source and their goal, Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Renewer, the one who was and who is and who is to come. It is a story which is not yet completed.
OUR DIRECTION IN LIFE The end of the story is still to come, with the God who is also to come to his creation in the end... This means that those who live by this story live within it. It gives us our identity, our place in the story, and a part to play in the still-to-be-completed purposes of God for his world.' Richard Bauckham + Trevor Hart
GOD’S STORY IN US ‘To enter the world of scripture (is) to become a part of its story.’ ‘We are not so much enjoined to get inside the text, as to let the text get inside us, so that we are nourished by its word and enabled to perform its story.’ Gerard Loughlin
SCRIPTURE AS PROMISE They are Israelites, and to them belong … the promises. Romans 9:4 For in Christ every one of God's promises is a "Yes.” 2Corinthians 1:20 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. 2Pe 1:4
FREEDOM FOR CHANGE 'The Holy Spirit brings forward a reality which is grounded in divine promise rather than in human thought or achievement.' Doctrine Commission 'I am determined by the future God has promised rather than by the past I have made.’ Doctrine Commission
DON’T MISS OUT For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, So that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:10-12
A MEANS OF GRACE 'Scripture is a means of grace by which God's Word continues to come to us. It is not so much a static collection of timeless oracles as it is the place to stand when one wants to be in God's presence and learn of him.
WORD AND SPIRIT Through the Bible we can orient ourselves to the objective revelation that has been given and through the Spirit enter into it personally and dynamically.' Clark Pinnock.
WORD AND SPIRIT 'The Spirit acts as a kind of 'time machine' via the Word, enabling the believer to travel backward and forward in salvation history and to imaginatively participate in the events that have been and are yet to be.' Steven Land
TWIN TRACK WORD God’s gift from the past SPIRIT God’s gift from the future
THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT The Spirit as 'The certain evidence that the future had dawned, and the absolute guarantee' of its final consummation.' Gordon Fee
THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT 'The Spirit has given both the first fruits and the hope of full liberation, and we are stretched between the two.' Peter Hocken
THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT 'The action of the Spirit is to anticipate, in the present, and by means of the finite and contingent, the things of the age to come.' Colin Gunton
THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT 'In this activity of the Spirit the new creation is already being anticipated in provisional forms in human life.' Richard Bauckham + Trevor Hart
THE ANTICIPATION OF THE SPIRIT 'It is a vital part of a Christian perspective on this world to identify within it scattered acts of recreative anticipation of God's promised future, as the same Spirit who raised Jesus from death calls into being life, health, faith and hope where there is otherwise no capacity for these and no accounting for them.
FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT Christians are called to identify and to become involved with God's Spirit in all that he is doing to fashion a genuine presence of the new within the midst of the old, drawing it into self-transcendent albeit partial anticipations of what will ultimately be.
HERALDS OF GOD’S FUTURE Such anticipations are to be found in this world, but they are not of this world. They belong to God's future of which they are heralds and towards which they direct our hopeful gaze. In such happenings the power of the future-made-present is manifest.’ Bauckham + Hart
HOPE RESTORED If this Spirit of God is ‘the Spirit of the resurrection', then we are possessed by a hope which sees unlimited possibilities ahead, because it looks to God's future.
HOPE RESTORED The heart expands. The goals of hope in our own lives, and what we ourselves expect of life, fuse with God's promises for a new creation of all things. This gives our own finite and limited life an infinite meaning.’ Jurgen Moltmann
WHEN FAITH BECOMES HOPE 'Faith, wherever it develops into hope, causes not rest but unrest, not patience but impatience. It does not calm the unquiet heart, but is itself this unquiet heart in man.
WHEN FAITH BECOMES HOPE Those who hope in Christ can no longer put up with reality as it is, but begin to suffer under it, to contradict it