Not only are the core activities of Bless threefold, but the DNA that binds them together is also a ‘three stranded cord’, drawn from Jesus’ words to his disciples in Acts 1:8: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
These words express the thoroughly trinitarian nature of New Testament mission and ask each of us to:
TRUST the Father,
RECEIVE the Spirit and
TELL the story of the son.
Our “7 Stories” curriculum explains this trinitarian foundation for mission:
“We trust the Father, because there will always be aspects of our life and mission that are too big for us to grasp. We do not see the whole picture, and we must learn to trust the voice that shows us our part in it. Our engagement with God’s mission must be anchored in this father-love that pre-dates our existence by an unimaginable margin and is too broad and deep and long and high to be shaken or dented by our troubles, no matter how intense they are. Without this knowledge of a parent beyond and outside our existential experience, we will fluctuate with the wind. Only by throwing our anchor into the heart of the Father whose life is established beyond the very boundaries of time and space can we be fully secure.
We receive the Spirit, because it is only by God’s dwelling in us by his Spirit that we can embrace the tasks and purposes he calls us to. If the Father is the one by whom we know, from the deepest past to the furthest future, that we are secure, the Spirit is the one by whom we know right now what it is to do the will of God. The Holy Spirit is God the present tense, our maker present in our present circumstance. The Holy Spirit is the one by whom the purposes of God are actualised within us. There is nothing God wants to do in us or through us that will not be done through his Spirit. As often as we pray “your will be done on earth as in heaven” we are praying, by implication, “Come, Holy Spirit”.
We tell the Story of the Son, because it is the story of Jesus – the specific and particular account of the incarnation – that unlocks the purposes of God in every life. The framework is triune but the story is singular: it is that of Jesus. Why? Because the story of our maker taking on flesh and becoming one of us and one with us is the unique, game-changing reality at the heart of all mission. The biography of God is Trinitarian, and there are truths we need to learn about Father, Son, and Spirit, but our way into that biography, the on-ramp that will take us to those truths, is the story of Jesus. The confession that Jesus is both God and man is an irreducible minimum that we arrive at by faith and confess in trust. It takes us somewhere our reason will never carry us. Post-modern sensitivities struggle intensely with this level of particularity. We are ready to say that God might exist and can speak and could even be a lot like the God the Bible describes; but to say that God has spoken definitively in the historic, human life of the man Jesus, requires a different level of commitment, giving assent to a concrete, non-negotiable truth. It is this assertion that allows us to attach the adjective Christian to our faith and mission.”
The commitment to trust the Father, receive the Spirit and tell the story of the Son lies at the heart of Bless, so that the three spheres of training opportunities [link to page], church-planting [link to page], and resources [link to page] are three distinct delivery mechanisms of the same DNA. We exist as a movement so that all those who come into our orbit are empowered to encounter and embrace the love of the Trinity in such a way that:
- They come to know and deeply experience the immense love the father has for them. We create spaces where individuals can fully engage with the fact that their maker calls them ‘beloved’.
- They learn to receive and operate in the fulness of God’s Spirit, so that all they do, whether in daily life or in some special time of mission, is Spirit-led, Spirit-empowered and Sprit-soaked.
- They discover more fully the story of the incarnation and learn to tell their own life-story in its light, so that not only their words but their very life is shaped by the unique story of Jesus.