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Drawing from many years of experience being involved with fresh expressions and new ways of being church, here members of the team explore areas of insight which have emerged from their experience. We welcome your comments and thoughts. Please feel free to e-mail us at admin@acpi.org.uk .

To see a complete list of articles, click here.



Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones- Strategic approaches to evangelism

Our concern over 25 years of exploring church planting is how do you have a strategic understanding, that brings together all the principles into one integrated framework. We have developed this in our “Octagon” teaching which we have written up in our book “Evangelism strategies” (available from our website shop).

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Pioneer Ministry and Implementation of the Mission Shaped Church Report

The Mission Shaped Church Report was published in 2004 and approved by General Synod in that year. It made strong recommendations for the recognition of pioneers and their identification, training and support in both ordained and lay ministry. Implementation of these recommendations has been swift and very positive and we give further details here.    
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Evangelisation in New Housing Areas

In this article, Freddy Hedley examines a recent article from the Group for Evangelisation (GfE). 

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One of the most challenging and yet most open opportunities for mission, church planting and fresh expressions of church for many years has been the context of new housing areas. These new housing estates provide a unique short-term window of mission opportunity for five years or so. This is because: a) Those having major change in their lives are most open to new things, including the gospel, and so there is a whole population more receptive to evangelism; and b) New housing areas notoriously lack community so that any good ‘community in mission’ can be the one place new arrivals can find it!

There have been some notable successes in church planting into new housing estates over the decades. Some have been inter-church or ecumenical, but Local Ecumenical Projects (LEPs) present the greatest challenge to start and stay mission-centred.

 

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ACPI Circular
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Explaining Cell Churches

Previously produced and sold by Administry, now republished by ACPI and available in either hard-copy or as a free download, this short paper examines the principles, values, history, opportuntities and challenges of Cell Church as a model and missionary movement. This clear and concise exploration is both a must for anyone looking for a helpful introduction to Cell, as well as an excellent addition to the resources of experienced practitioners.

Click here to download

 
Ordained Pioneer Guidelines

The Church of England has adopted the language of pioneer ministry for starting and sustaining fresh expressions of church. In 2006 the House of Bishops approved new guidelines to encourage vocations to pioneer ministry as a recognised focus of ordained ministry. There are a growing number of candidates in training and beginning to serve their title posts as pioneers.

Click here to download the guidelines

 
Moving from Courses to Coaching
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In the last few years there has been a growing focus on coaching and mentoring as the crucial role of leadership is recognised ever more in our challenging context. This has particularly been the case in the church where increasingly we are seeing a priority of ongoing support and learning through accompaniment and networks, to complement a leader’s development through conventional areas of training. In our ever changing society it is essential that we are able to equip our leaders to learn and develop in and through their own situation. 

Jesus’ model was one of making and growing disciples and leaders through coaching and apprenticeship. He also taught and trained on a larger scale, but his primary model was always around a small group community of learners whom he equipped for life and ministry. Jesus’ method was also an expression of the Kingdom dynamic of multiplication. Training processes enable large numbers to be involved but are based on addition, with greater potential of short-term gain. Whereas apprenticeship and coaching feeds into an ongoing relationship focussed on fewer people but with long-term fruit that can be multiplied out to great longer-term potential.

 

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Cafe Church - evaluating a range of approaches

Over recent years the number of cafes has steadily increased to the point that now there are not only cafes in most towns and city areas butthere become café zones. And they are frequented to such an extent that they become the social hubs for whole networks, which then can be described as “café culture”. Even many villages may now have more than one café.

With this emergence of a distinct café culture as part of our multi-cultural context, at the same time as we have seen a developing movement of mission producing fresh expressions of church, it is therefore not surprising that a whole range of café church initiatives have emerged.

As we have observed one new initiative after another we have reflected that a number of categories are arising which themselves are instructive of some of the principles of mission engagement in this newmovement. Currently we discern five or six such types of café church.

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Planters Problems
Bob Hopkins has written an article for issue 3 of The Sheffield Centre's Research Bulletin, entitled 'Affirm Planting' in response to an article written by George Lings in an earlier Research Bulletin challenging the language and anaology of the terms 'Planting' with related to the 'failure' or 'death' of a Church Plant. In the article, Bob references the ACPI workbook 'Planters Problems', which is available from our Online Store for £3.
 
Task, People, Rules Questionnaire
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This questionnaire 'Task, People, Rules' is a helpful questionnaire for individuals to use to identify what they naturally prioritise in how they operate. Groups can then start to understand how different personalities can work together.

The questionnaire is referenced in 'Coaching for Missional Leadership' by Bob Hopkins & Freddy Hedley, available in our online store.
Click here to download the questionnaire  

 
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