Dr. Colin Godwin (President, Carey Theological College) spoke on “Becoming an Alternative Missional Community” (Part 1 of 2)” from Matt 28:16-20 and Psalm 24:1-10. As the author of Baptizing, Gathering, And Sending, Colin explored how community formation in the 16th Century Anabaptist movement started with inclusion in the church only upon baptism. Despite waves of persecution and martyrdom throughout Europe, a milkman delivering to an Anabaptist household might find himself being witnessed to. Even today, a Chinese academic hesitated to take the next step of Believer’s Baptism since it could cause problems for him upon return to his home country.
Following Christ’s commands in Matthew 28 in the right order was a central tenet of Anabaptism: first preaching & conversion, then baptism, then teaching. It all started with baptism as a public declaration that the new believer was joining a community that had a clear moral imperative to enter into a changed life. High ethical expectations attract seekers who are looking for an alternative to worldly tendencies towards violence and injustice.
We don’t need to expand God’s Kingdom, we need to invite people to enter the here-and-now Kingdom by taking opportunities to speak and live for Christ. Since the Earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24), no land should be without the Gospel. Colin challenged us to understand what our community is, what we are an alternative to, and where we are going, with these 3 questions:
1.What is your point of entry into PGIMF as a community?
2.How is your congregation alternative?
3.How is PGIMF missional?