Posts Tagged 'mission'

What does “mission” mean to me?

What does “mission mean” to me?

My colleague Esteban invited me to reflect on that recently. Here are some initial, though incomplete thoughts …

Let me answer that in a few ways.

First of all “mission” for the disciple of Christ is joining and partnering with God’s mission. Scholars refer to this as the “missio dei” – the mission of God. Let’s not see mission as us “taking the good news of Jesus in our spiritual backpack” out to where God isn’t. God – Father, Son and Spirit is not only with us and we with God, but God is already out there. That is liberating!

Secondly, being missional is intrinsic to following Jesus. Just as we are all called to care for one another (regardless of how gifted we might be) so we are all called to be missional. When in Matthew 28 Jesus says to his band of disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples … baptizing them … and teaching them …” in a real sense Christ calls us to this too. It’s bound up in being an “apostolic” (i.e. sent) people. Mission always has an “outward”, beyond -ourselves movement.

And what is the mission of God?

Well, to a significant degree, it is about living out Jesus’ words in Luke 4:18-19 when he stands before the synagogue, reads from the prophet Isaiah and proclaims:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

It’s a passage I come back to again and again. I take the liberty of understanding its wording both literally and figuratively, with words or phrases such as “the poor”, “captives”, “sight to the blind”, “the oppressed” having such meaning and gravitas.

We are people of the Spirit. We are people saved by and called by the grace of God through Christ. The call that Christ embodied and by the Spirit still embodies is the same for us.

In Luke 4:21, Jesus rolls up the Isaiah scroll and asserts, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” It’s no different for us. When we partner with God in God’s mission; as we engage with others in sharing in word and action God’s good news in Jesus, that scripture of liberation is incarnated in each of us, by the grace of God it too is fulfilled in others’ engaging with us.

What a joy that can be!
Mission is about that too!


On Purpose … a song for moving forward

On Purpose logo

New song! On Purpose is written for a gathering of 350 or so Uniting Church folk from, around Queensland in just a few weeks time on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. It’s called “synod” and once again, I’m one of the worship coordinators and part of the music team. Peter from our church in Brisbane has a great voice – he sings a great vocal for the rough mp3 demo provided. Thanks Pete!

On Purpose started with what I liked as a chord sequence beginning with an A2 chord (for the musos reading this).

Hopefully it will work … there’s a “Coldplayish” coda too, with a few “wo-oh-oh” bits. Could be fun if people pick up on the idea – you know, hands waving from side to side, folks singing at fine voice.

It’s a while since I’ve written a guitar-based song, so let’s see how this one goes, including connecting with key themes of the five-day gathering.


piano score

On purpose
In service
With Jesus
Spirit/Kingdom called
With passion
With purpose
Lead us, Lord

God in Christ
You call us: be your church
A sign, a foretaste
of your kingdom birth.
“Go, disciple
to the ends of the earth”
Make that difference
for the One you serve

On purpose, in service …

Born of water, spirit
Christ, we’re raised
A holy people called
to sing your praise
Your word, your Word
alive in us always
with joy, love, hope
as we each run your race

On purpose, in service …

Wo – o – o – o …

David MacGregor
© 2016 Willow Publishing


Charleville wrap-up


It’s just over 24 hours since Dale and I along with four others from our church arrived back in Brisbane on the Westlander.


On the journey back – uneventful in the bigger scheme of things – we spent some time reflecting on how well our week in and beyond Charleville had achieved its objectives.

IMG_3988There was consensus that apart from the hope of engaging in some children’s ministry there, it was a green tick the rest of the way.

There’s no doubt that everyone in our group will now have a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the work of Frontier Services, of the challenges of those on the land, of a different way of ‘being church’ out there.  We were able to share musical and other gifts in a variety of contexts.  It seemed our encounters were times of blessing and encouragement to those we met.  More than this, though, we came away knowing we were perhaps blessed ourselves moreso … such was the hospitality and friendship received. The leadership, friendship and assistance shown by patrol padre John Case in arranging so many of our encounters was tremendous. Thanks John!!!

Buckey panorama

What was the springboard for all of this?

Perhaps two-fold:

  1. doing something more tangible as a local suburban church to connect with Frontier Services’ work – one catalyst being 2012’s 100th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the A.I.M. under Rev John Flynn’s leadership and vision. I wrote (see next post) the song ‘Cross this land tonight in recognition of this.
  2. 40 years ago, our minister at Indooroopilly Presbyterian Church, Doug Brandon took a bus load of young adults out one December to his old Burke & Wills patrol stomping ground. Yes, the same territory we in a small way interfaced.  This experience has never left me, all these years on.  I wanted Oxley folk to catch a glimpse of this too.

I believe they did.

20131003-071942.jpgThe last two days saw us:

  • presenting a concert of song and story at the Waroona Nursing Home in Charleville.  A moving experience as we shared some oldtime and Aussie folk songs



  • spending time at the Bilby CentreIMG_3992
  • farewelling our road-travellers
  • consuming tasty food at the RSL and Mars-Bar cheesecake at Bartlett’s bakery
  • presenting an impromptu singalong across the road from the Bailey Bar Caravan Park.

One of our lighthearted slogans through the week was “What happens in Charleville stays in Charleville!”.

Not sure if that’s going to stay true for me.  Perhaps others.

It’s left its mark … the people we met have left their mark. Praise be to God.

Now … I’m onto the second half of long service leave. Some time at home, time at the beach and then a rendezvous with Dale’s folks and a six-berth motorhome at Alice Springs.  We worshipped in the city this morning, took in GOMA (first time for me) … and then there’s the little matter of a footy Grand Final this evening.



P.S. I’ve submitted this piece for possible publication by our Uniting Church Qld magazine: Journey. Kind of sums up the week.

Continue reading ‘Charleville wrap-up’

‘Cross this land tonight … new song

Happy new year everyone!

Well … I’ve finally written the song invited of me by Frontier Services for their 100th birthday celebrations in September. Yet to really share it with them so in all fairness, so am limited to what I can share via blog. Thought I’d let you in on a few snippets though. In somewhat the vogue of an Australian folk song, here’s the refrain:

Right across this sunburnt country
Marked by droughts and flooding rains
At places far beyond the beaten track:
in mercy’s name
God’s outback mission keeps on
bringing hope and health and light
God’s “mantle of safety”
‘cross this land tonight

In the song’s three verses, I seek to acknowledge not on the pioneering contributions of the likes of Reverends John Flynn and Fred McKay AND the present day 700 staff, but just as importantly the contributions of those many, many men, women and children in remote places across this land.  I thought it vital to have there in the chorus, acknowledgement of Flynn’s vision of a “mantle of safety” across the length and breadth of Australia.

Hopefully I’ve managed all that.  Might even have a go at a second song offering – something that is somewhat hymn like in style. We’ll see.  Next week, once home from holidays Dale and I will put down in a demo vocal … then we’ll get some church folk (hopefully) to record a further vocal.  I love projects like this.

Once again – out of respect for Frontier Services’ invitation, don’t feel I can share music score and lyrics right now.  However, maybe this backing track (yet to get a final mix etc) will give you a feel.   demo backing track



A heart 4 U (update)

Greetings all

Just realized last night, as my eyes were nearly shut that I hadn’t provided the most up-to-date version of the leadsheet for the song now called: A heart 4 U.

So here it is, along with a link to two backing tracks (the second with a saxophone-melody line throughout):

backing track
backing track (with sax melody line)



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 716 other followers

RSS Just in – ABC News

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Journey fast-news

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.


RSS Theolog:”The Christian Century”

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: