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Being Church, Doing Life

Michael Moynagh's new book, 'Being Church, Doing Life; Creating gospel communities where life happens' is available now. It is currently available for a discounted price of £7.50 for a limited time only from the fresh expressions site. To order your copy now, visit freshexpressions.org.uk/resources/beingchurch

 

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‘Major impact’ of fresh expressions of church: new research

‘Major impact’ of fresh expressions of church: new research

Fresh expressions of church are having a major impact on growth in the Church of England – according to research released on Thursday, January 16, 2014.
 
The detailed study, involving all fresh expressions of church in 10 dioceses, was carried out by the Church Army’s Research Unit for the Church Commissioners. Canon Dr George Lings, the Unit’s Director, said, ‘Nothing else in the Church of England has this level of missional impact and the effect of adding further ecclesial communities.’ 
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Planters Beware!

Over the years we have seen that those embarking on pioneering something completely new seem to be particularly vulnerable in the process. It seems that planting a new church, initiating a fresh expression of church has its particular dangers.

 

 

 

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The Homogeneous Hot Potato

Over the years, one of the most complex and controversial issues in the field of Christian mission has been the Homogenous Unit Principle (or so called HUP). Partly this is because of its roots in the US ‘church growth’ language, but it is also because of some deeper theological reasons. In this article we want to unpack and explore some of these key issues.  

Expressed at its simplest, the question runs, ‘Is it or is it not acceptable (or desirable) to have Christian communities made up of only one homogenous culture or social group?’ The most learned church leaders, theologians and missiologists around the world strenuously disagree with one another on this question, so it can’t be easy to resolve. That being said, we do believe there is a resolution - one which holds that homogenous groups are right and not right ... but not at the same time or in the same community structure.

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Attractional Church

To speak or not to speak of Attractional Church, that is the question

 

Contexts are different around the world and even within one country ... and furthermore they are changing rapidly. Not only that but how we understand language is different from place to place, even within a single language group like English ... and now even in one place the meaning that we put on particular words is changing.

Faced with this problem, Mike Breen blogs about why he will no longer use the term Attractional Church... and Bob Hopkins, a close colleague but working on the other side of the "Pond", responds with an explanation of why and how it will continue in his vocabulary!


 

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Connecting the Centre to the Edge
  •  By +Graham Cray 

In Church After Christendom Stuart Murray-Williams has written that

  “The brightest hope for church after Christendom is a symbiotic relationship between inherited and emerging churches. We need each other.”

 

 We usually refer to that symbiotic relationship as the mixed economy: a complementary partnership between fresh expressions of church and inherited models of church. But it can be understood in other ways as well. At a recent conference in Germany, Bishop Steven Croft spoke of “connecting the centre to the edge” as one of the keys to the rapid growth of fresh expressions in the UK. 
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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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Rural Fresh Expressions on the Share Community
The Share Community is an online gathering place where people who are pioneering (or just interested in) new forms of church can rub shoulders with and support each other.

David Muir has started an interesting group called Rural Fresh Expressions looking at "How to start and maintain new and missional groupings of people centred on Christian faith, which will draw into them the increasing variety of people who inhabit our countryside".

The group can be found here (you will need to register). Do have a look at the rest of the website as there are some interesting and useful discussions and resources.

 
 
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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Training opportunity - FORM in Sheffield
 
 
form logo.jpg
Form is a year of training and transformation.  It is about being disciples & making disciples. It has its home at Network Church Sheffield, a large multi-site Anglican/ Baptist/ Free Church in Sheffield across the three bases of St Thomas’ Church Philadelphia, The King’s Centre and City:Base.

The year is about being ‘formed’ – that means you’re shaped, fashioned & moulded into someone who more fully represents Christ to the world. The year is about God setting the foundation in your life you need so that you can continue to grow as a disciple & become everything it is that God made you to be.

Jesus didn’t take his disciples into a classroom to teach them how to best follow him. He invited them into his story & as they experienced life in his context of mission to the world, they became more like him. We believe we should do the same. Form is rooted & worked out through communities committed to mission – God’s activity of extending His kingdom of good in the world.

 

If you do Form you’ll become part of the NCS community for the year.  You’ll have an apprenticeship within an area of ministry or mission in the church and learn as you become part of a passionate team.  You will also receive and be able to work through quality teaching and training from the St Tom’s staff and other leaders.
Form runs from September to June each year." 

 

Visit the website: www.form-uk.org or e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

 
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