Engaging the imagination requires understanding two things: your beliefs and your community. Imagination is a creative process. It melds what we know and what we are experiencing. Prophetic imagination adds the potential of envisioning how God is still speaking to that creative moment.
We wanted to redefine our mission. This meant we needed to know what we believed. As a community we gathered to answer five questions:
Our visions begin with our desires.
- Who is Jesus?
- What is church?
- What is evangelism?
- What is salvation?
- What is service?
The answers to these questions form the core of why we were a community. As we talked, we recognized that Jesus embodies unconditional love and offers us new life with God. We experienced church as a welcoming community that carries God’s love and reconciliation into the world. We evangelized by demonstrating the power and presence of God. We understood salvation as a gift of unconditional love through Jesus. And we served by carrying Jesus into the world as his eyes, ears, hands, and feet.
What became even more clear in process was that we desired to be a blessing to our community in South Arlington. Knowing what we believed helped us think about what it meant to be a part of our community.
The first step was understanding our “why.” The next step was developing community relationships. We wanted to know what was happening outside our walls. To minister with people, you first have to visit their spaces and get curious.