Our Bishop and the Diocesan Synod of 2017 challenged us to "take the BELLS Challenge to fulfill the mission of God."
In his book, "Surprise the World: The 5 Habits of Highly Missional People," Michael Frost outlines a framework for how we might become more "mission minded as individuals." A church with an attitude of mission is comprised of individuals who take mission seriously and think missionally. Mission is not really about going to distant lands and sharing our own interpretation or understanding of who Jesus is. Mission-minded people exercise mission in every encounter they have with others every day. A "missional church" is one with membership who have become, or are becoming, "missional people" with a missional mindset. "Surprise the World," is a simple, yet effective opportunity and method to form habits that make us missional people.
BELLS helps to focus our efforts in becoming missional in such a way as to assist us to re-orient our thinking towards mission.
Michael Frost says:
"I’m not suggesting that BELLS is a magic bullet or anything like that. But it is a really handy tool for mobilizing Christians up, in and out into mission. That is, up into deeper connection with the Triune God; in to a stronger sense of community with other believers; and out into the neighborhood."
At Christ Church Cathedral, during 2018 Easter Season all were challenged to read "Surprise the World." That reading was done individually, as part of a Charis Group, or other group that formed for that purpose. We offered a viewing of the videos featuring Michael Frost which accompany each of the chapters of "Surprise the World." A sermon series was preached on the first five Sundays after Pentecost. We'll continue to look for ways to implement the Surprise the World (BELLS) model as we work toward becoming more "highly missional people" in the weeks and months ahead.
During Easter 2018, all at the Cathedral were challenged to read "Surprise the World."
The wall chart at the Cathedral recorded how many have read "Surprise the World" and charted our progress. A sticker placed anonymously on the chart let us all know how many read.
The "BELLS" sermon series
4 Learn and Listen
5 Be Sent