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  1. The future of fresh expressions Cliff College

  2. The journey so far • A groundswell of experimentation • Emerging church conversation • Reflection on 1990s church planting • Mission-shaped Church report • Archbishop Rowan Williams • Growing support • Ecumenical • Church on the frontlines? • A long way to go

  3. Four tributaries • Church planting • Emerging church conversation • Fresh expressions • Communities in mission New monasticism feeds into all four

  4. Fresh expressions are: • Missional (with non-churchgoers) • Contextual (fit the people) • Formational (forming disciples) • Ecclesial (church taking shape)

  5. From communion ecclesiology to church as 4 relationships • Church comprises 4 sets of relationships: UP IN OUT OF • They involve practices but can’t be reduced to practices

  6. From communion ecclesiology to church as 4 relationships (cont.) • Two theological advantages • True to NT language and practice • Echoes Trinity UP – Father/Son, Son/Father IN – mutual love of the three persons OUT – missio Dei OF – perichoretic • Practices remain important but are relativised • OF => practices cherished by universal church • A spectrum between universal and personal Denominations/streams/traditions in the middle OF => practices are for ‘bene esse’ rather than ‘esse’ of church The 4 relationships will continually critique their practices • Church can have many shapes provided it is growing in these 4 relationships

  7. Some emerging patterns • Mixed economy • Semi-autonomous channels • Local/regional coalitions • Church in life Macro church (temples) Midi church (synagogues) Micro church (tents) • All networked together

  8. The ‘mixed economy’ Cliff College

  9. Criticisms of mixed economy – from emerging church • Inherited church is the big problem. E-church should remain outside to retain a prophetic critique • Power structures in inherited church will inevitably stifle difference

  10. Criticisms of mixed economy from inherited church • ‘Fresh expressions’ implies a distinction from stale expressions • Fx have a flimsy view of church • Fx threaten identity of inherited church

  11. Theological resources for the mixed economy - Trinity • Zizioulas: Trinity models unity and diversity alongside each other • Boff: source of unity is relationships between the persons • Implications: Trinity’s identity is based on diversity (plus unity) Mixed economy depends on relationships

  12. Theological resources for the mixed economy - creation • Unity and diversity are built into creation – Francis & Richter, Gone for Good? • Diversity need not imply inferiority • But ‘fresh expressions’ may be unhelpful language

  13. Some theological resources • Trinity theology - interdependence • Creation theology – diversity. Leslie Francis & Philip Richter, Gone for Good? • Sacramental theology

  14. Some theological resources • Trinity theology - interdependence • Creation theology – diversity. Leslie Francis & Philip Richter, Gone for Good? • Eucharistic theology • Jerusalem & Antioch in Acts. Ray S. Anderson, An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches.

  15. Jerusalem church’s parallels to inherited church • ‘You come-to-us’ mindset: Emerged among Jews from Europe (Acts 2.5) Early growth based on people coming to Jerusalem from towns nearby (Acts 5.16) First instinct was for Gentile converts to conform to its way of being church (Acts 15.1-21; Galatians 2.11-16)

  16. Jerusalem church’s parallels to inherited church (cont.) • ‘You-come-to-us’ mindset • Developed effective mission to its hinterland: Philip & Peter preach gospel fruitfully in Judea & Samaria (Acts 8.1-40; 9.32-10.48; 21.20) Many parts of inherited church remain fruitful in reaching their ‘hinterland’ • Bore some fruit beyond Jews & Samaritans: eg Cornelius

  17. Jerusalem church’s parallels to inherited church (cont.) • ‘You-come-to-us’ mindset • Developed effective mission to its hinterland • Bore some fruit beyond Jews & Samaritans • A more traditional mindset than Antioch: Jewish converts were ‘zealous for the law’ (Acts 21.20) Large number of priests believed in Christ (Acts 6.7)

  18. Antioch church’s parallels to fresh expressions • Launched ‘we’ll-come-to-you’ mission – sending out Paul & Barnabas • Reached Gentiles beyond Judea & Samaria • Developed new patterns of leadership & worship • Created new theology – eg Paul’s letters

  19. Jerusalem & Antioch churches were interdependent • Jerusalem holds new church at Antioch to account & supports it –sends Barnabas (Acts 11. 22-23) • Paul seeks blessing of Jerusalem church and they support him (Acts 15. 28) • Paul’s new churches provide a financial gift to Jerusalem (2 Cor. 8.1-9.5), just as Jerusalem had given a spiritual gift (Barnabas) to Antioch • Interaction between Jerusalem & Antioch creates fruitful theology • Mission of both churches complemented each other – Paul called to Gentiles, Peter to Jews (Gal. 2.7)

  20. Interdependence in Acts – a major theme Going out in mission & referring back to the centre in accountability – Loveday Alexander • Peter to Cornelius & then explains himself to Jerusalem • Jerusalem missionaries go to Antioch, which explains itself to Jerusalem via Barnabas • Antioch sends out Paul & Barnabas, & they report back to Antioch (Acts 14.27-28) • Ephesus becomes a new centre, Epaphras converted there, plants a new church in Colossae, & then reports back to Paul, who is in prison (possibly in Ephesus) and who responds with the letter to Colossians • Church has been following same pattern ever since

  21. Some theological resources • Trinity theology - interdependence • Creation theology – diversity. Leslie Francis & Philip Richter, Gone for Good? • Eucharistic theology • Jerusalem & Antioch in Acts. Ray S. Anderson, An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches. • Prophetic ecclesiology – Nicholas Healy, Church, World and the Christian Life

  22. Leadership for emerging church Cliff College

  23. The leadership challenge Loving & servingbuilding communityexploring discipleshipchurch taking shape

  24. Three approaches • Biographical • Theological • Empirical

  25. Theological • Diakonos • Presbyters • Episcope

  26. Empirical - ‘7 strong claims about successful school leadership’, DfES, 2006 (adapted) • Leadership is vital • Central focus is employee performance • It involves 4 key practices: Establishing shared purpose Developing people Redesigning the organisation to release abilities Managing teaching & training programme

  27. Empirical (cont.) • Leadership is sensitive to context • Leadership is shared & co-ordinated • Such leadership benefits pupils by: Improving staff commitment Increasing staff capabilities Improving staff working conditions • Leaders need: willingness to learn, flexibility, persistence, resilience, optimism

  28. 5 key questions • What are you trying to achieve – ie your desired outcome? • What is the key leadership task to achieve this outcome? • What are the practices leaders employ to achieve that task? • How do these practices accomplish the desired outcome? • What is required for these practices to be employed effectively?

  29. Toward an empirical model of leadership for e-church • Desired outcome – growth in Christ-likeness • Key task – nurturing people • Nurturing is accomplished by means of: Creating shared purpose Networking Developing people – pastoring, teaching, mentoring, worship, etc Introducing structures/processes that release people Managing loving/ listeningcommunitydiscipleshipchurch process

  30. Towards an empirical model (cont.) • These practices encourage growth in Christ-likeness by: Building self-esteem Generating commitment Improving capabilities • These practices are most likely to be accomplished when leadership is: Shared & co-ordinated Sensitive to the context Seeking constantly to learn Spirit-led and Spirit-filled – the fruits of the Spirit

  31. End of 2011 slide show

  32. The emerging church conversation Brief overview

  33. Three strands • Alternative theology – ‘protesting on three fronts’ (D. A. Carson): Against modernism Against traditional evangelicalism Against megachurch

  34. Three strands • Alternative theology • Alternative worship - new forms of church among existing churchgoers • Alternative mission – new forms of church among non-churchgoers

  35. What are fresh expressions? A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. • It will come into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission & making disciples • It will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context

  36. A fresh expressions journey Bless others

  37. A fresh expressions journey (cont.) Bless othersbuild community

  38. A fresh expressions journey (cont.) Bless othersbuild communityexplore Jesus

  39. Build communityexplore Jesus: showing Jesus • God talk • Creative expressions of spirituality • ‘Apt litury’ • Caring for others and creation

  40. A fresh expressions journey (cont.) Bless othersbuild communityexplore Jesuschurch …………...all underpinned by prayer & listening…..................

  41. What is church? ‘Church is what happens when people gather round Jesus.’ Expect growth in 4 directions: UP – toward God IN – fellowship OUT – mission OF – connected to the whole church

  42. How we got here in the UK • Alternative worship – Nine O’clock service • 1990s church planting – Lings & Murray • New Ways of Being Church – Jeanne Hinton • Critics of church – Cray, Frost & Hirsch • Spontaneous experiments • Rowan Williams/Mission-shaped Church • Inherited church takes fx on board • Emerging critics – John Hull, & others

  43. Why is emerging church shooting up the agenda? • Society is changing – eg: External rules, duties, obligationsrelationships & experiences Organisations/institutionsinformality & networks Standardisationdiversity

  44. Why is emerging church shooting up the agenda? • Changing society • End of Christendom % England’s pop. in Sunday church: 9.9% (4.7m) in 19896.3% (3.1m) in 2005 - Peter Brierley (ed.), UK Christian Handbook. Religious Trends 6, Christian Research, 2006. 60% of pop. have never been to church (29%) or used to go but have no plans to return (31%) – TEAR fund survey, 2005.

  45. Why is emerging church shooting up the agenda? • Changing society • End of Christendom • Interest in spirituality but not church 76% of pop. admitted to having a spiritual experience (eg answered prayer) in 2000 – up 59% since 1990 (BBC Soul of Britain survey) But young people have an increasingly ‘material’ existence (Sara Savage et al, Making Sense of Generation Y, 2006)

  46. What principles lie behind fresh expressions? • Community in mission – the Trinity • Experimentation – the Creator • Community – Israel • Cultural immersion – the Incarnation • Transformation – the Kingdom • Discipleship – Jesus’s followers • Sacrifice – the Saviour • Reproduction – the Ascension • Diversity – the indwelling Spirit • Unity – the return of Christ

  47. The emerging conversation UK Cliff College

  48. A variety of fresh expressions • Renewal of existing congregation • Reinventing a ‘fringe’ group • New form of church within parish • Larger initiative across several parishes

  49. What are fresh expressions? A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. • It will come into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission & making disciples • It will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context

  50. A fresh expressions journey Loving service