It happened again.
Sitting in yet another Majority World church context - this time the Graduation Ceremony of the Phnom Penh Bible School in Cambodia - and I find it staring me in the face from the front wall in huge font. The whole focus is on maturity: "help your people grow in Christ".
This is one of the twin mandates of the church in the New Testament. The other mandate is mission. But it seldom receives the same focus because people tend to be coming to Christ and evangelism and church-planting is happening anyway. It is almost routine. The great need is to see people mature.
The context back home in New Zealand is just so different. The mission challenge is immense. It hogs the headlines as we struggle along. However let's not forget to invest heavily in maturing the people of God. This is done primarily through the ministries of the Word of God. We might be surprised at how this impacts that mission challenge we face. That is why this view adjacent to the deck outside our new home is just so energising. This is exactly what I pray for the churches of New Zealand: that they would become koru clubs, gatherings of people unfurling into likeness to Christ as they remain in Christ. I reckon that this has massive missional potential - and without it mission is going to keep disintegrating into a perennially messy ineffectiveness.
Here is to being faithful to the twin mandates of the church: maturity and mission