The Five Marks of Mission

The Five Marks of Mission: Teach

Back in the September Pilgrims, I started offering some thoughts on the 5 Marks of Mission that the Church of England along with the world wide Anglican Communion has, for more than 20 years, adopted as an understanding of what contemporary mission is about.

·         To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom

·         To teach, baptise and nurture new believers

·         To respond to human need by loving service

·         To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation

·         To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

The five marks can be summarised in five words: TELL – TEACH – TEND – TRANSFORM – TREASURE.

This month I offer some reflections on the remaining topic: TEACH

Last time, I wrote about TELLING the good news of the kingdom, which is the primary task of the church. It seems to me that telling God’s story and the good news of Jesus leads into teaching, so that we can learn more about the nature and character and purpose and love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Most Christians will know of Jesus’ great commission, the task he left to the church, when he ascended into heaven after his resurrection. Mathew 28: 19 — Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

So the church is tasked not only with telling God’s story but also teaching what it means and how to respond.

Teaching is based in what we learn of God’s revelation of himself through the Bible, which, as we say on our website, is at the heart of our teaching in BART. It is through the Bible, coupled with our own experience, that we can learn about God, about who Jesus is, why he came, what it means to follow him and about how the Holy Spirit helps us as we follow Jesus.

In BART we have different opportunities for teaching and learning and growing in faith; and we are always ready to consider new ways that may be helpful. We have midweek bible study groups (currently alternate Tuesday lunch times and alternate Wednesday evenings), through which we can look in some depth about what the bible has to say. We have children’s and young people’s groups (on Friday afternoons in term time) and holiday clubs, where we seek to teach and nurture the younger generation in a fun way. For those who wish to prepare for baptism for themselves or for their children or to prepare for confirmation or to prepare for marriage in church, we arrange times for teaching and discovering what the bible has to offer. During Lent we will have one or two special short courses, which may be easier to commit to for busy people; there will be more details in next month’s Pilgrims and on the website. If you would like to explore any of these opportunities, there are details in these pages or take a look at the website for meetings and come along or contact me.

Then, of course, there is Sunday worship. Here we are nurtured and grow in the Christian faith through worship, through reading the bible, through prayer, through preaching and through supporting and encouraging one another. Come along and find out more. This month our services are going to be based around the theme of — the Five Marks of Mission. So hopefully, by now, we all have a bit of a head start.

Blessings in Christ