People often ask The Table and it’s been difficult to describe exactly. Are we a church? Are we a mission project? Yes and yes.
Back in the early days we needed to legally incorporate as a charity. There were a couple of choices. We could file as a Church or a Society. Andy and I both shrugged our shoulders and said “every church is a society of mission, but not every church sees themselves as a society of mission, so let’s file as a missionary society.” That was the day our clunky legal name The Table Missionary Society was born.
It turned out to be accidentally brilliant. We always aimed towards more than a single parish, more than a single church. We’ve always wanted to be consistently and persistently on the move and on a mission. It has meant lots of risk, trial and error, desperate hope, radical prayer, and people growing deeper in faith in Jesus along the way.
It has also meant fumbling around for the right words to describe exactly who we are and what we do. We think we’ve finally settled on a sensible way to describe The Table.
First of all, we are Ongoing Mission. What started as a small group of four 19-22 year olds turned into Table Victoria, a parish which is just over 8 years old. It is ongoing mission because it has never been static.
Secondly, we are a New Mission Works. Table Peninsula.— 35-40 people ASA; 2 NTs; just getting going; also church planting apprentice working toward an MDiv who we’d like to send out to plant in a couple years.
Ongoing and New Works highly variable year-to-year, so it can be dizzying to count ASA.The main number we count are our leaders, and that’s the THIRD ELEMENT of who we are.
Finally, and most importantly from our point of view, we are Leadership Development. From the very minute we set down in Victoria we’ve emphasize apprentices and leadership development. In the last year or two we’ve given it more structure a called it Kaleo, a call to Gospel formation.
We’ve set up Kaleo, a call to Gospel Formation. This is the THIRD ELEMENT of who we are. Basically, at it’s core, Kaleo is discipleship.