Presentation on theme: "Fresh Expressions of Church. So what is church ?"— Presentation transcript:
Fresh Expressions of Church
So what is church ?
If a fresh expression can properly be said to be a church then it must contain the fullness of the universal Church and thus contain everything that is required to sustain a spiritual & sacramental life in communion with other churches.
Are fresh expressions proper church? what is at the heart of church?what is at the heart of church? what must always happen in church?what must always happen in church? what can change?what can change? how can we preserve our identity?how can we preserve our identity? SHARE website
Distill the essentials of the churchDistill the essentials of the church Describe the richness of the churchDescribe the richness of the church Discern and define the presence ofDiscern and define the presence of the church the church Derive the practices of the churchDerive the practices of the church Develop the maturity of the churchDevelop the maturity of the church Ecclesiology
1. A large city centre church has started a student congregation. 2.A church which has two congregations which meet in the same premises at the same time – one using English, the other using Korean……. 3. A congregation that meets in the school hall at 3.30 pm on Monday afternoons in order to reach parents/carers and their children. 4. People can log onto a cyber-church to receive teaching and pastoral advice, leave prayer requests and share in discussion. 5.An Christian organisation has started a meeting for prostitutes and drug addicts who have been converted through their work. 6.An evangelist is starting a walkers church – a monthly hike with Christian meditations en route 7.A gathering in a pub organised by a pioneer after playing football together which includes eating together and prayer 8. A church founded by a Nigerian pastor to reach Nigerians in the City centre
What does it look like to form Gods What does it look like to form Gods people in a place where the maps that once guided us so well no that once guided us so well no longer help us to make sense of the territory in which we find ourselves. Alan Roxburgh
nothing new under the sun, unsustainable, nothing new under the sun, unsustainable, ending up re-doing church, often badly. Ship of Fools blog without the institution of the church, all well have left is multi-choice spirituality, individualism and innovation. They do not hold out any long term hope for the future of the church. Martyn Percy
Theological reflection on the identity and calling of the church follows on from its existence as a community of faith. Alister McGrath
Holy UP Apostolic OUT Catholic OF IN One Enduring Marks Four linked Journeys Jesus focus Jesus followers Church is any expression of the life of Jesus in communal form OHCA
Eight criteria for proper Church. p181 1.Community of people called by God 2.Regularly worships and is sent out in mission 3.Gospel is proclaimed 4.Scripture preached and taught 5.Baptism 6.Holy Communion 7.Authorised ministry for Lords Supper 8.Connected to wider church through various ways
Organised Organic One Diverse Holy Charismatic Catholic Local Apostolic Prophetic Howard Synder, Decoding the Church. Baker Books
Unity in freedomUnity in freedom Catholic in partianshipCatholic in partianship Holiness in povertyHoliness in poverty Apostolic in sufferingApostolic in suffering J. Moltmann, The Church in the power of the Spirit. SCM 1977
A gospel of reconciliation can only be A gospel of reconciliation can only be communicated by a reconciled fellowship. Four areas 1.Eschatological church 2.Reconciling church 3.Foretaste of the Kingdom 4.Uniting-restoring harmony Lesslie Newbigin
Two structures of Gods redemptive mission redemptive mission Ralph D Winter
New Testament Church created along synagogue lines embracing the community of the faithful in any given place Missionary band semi autonomous group of committed workers who affiliate themselves as a second decision beyond membership in the first structure
Modality is a structured, complex and diverse fellowship in which there is no distinction of sex, age, wealth, culture Emphasis on nurture and fellowship, stable with relatively low demands
Sodality is a structured fellowship in which membership involves a second decision beyond modality membership and is limited in some way. Often dedicated to one task,it is deeply relational and task orientated.
both structures are churchboth structures are church missional energy tends to be in sodalitymissional energy tends to be in sodality assume modalities need to be establishedassume modalities need to be established rather than mission sodalities rather than mission sodalities which structure is best suited for church plantingwhich structure is best suited for church planting if the modality is doing its job should be moreif the modality is doing its job should be more sodalities sodalities
the theological doctrine of the church the theological doctrine of the church cannot be simply expressed in abstract terms about the churches timeless nature. It will have to provide points of departure for reforming the church, for giving it a more authentic form. Faithfulness and the fresh start are not antitheses in the history of the Spirit. Jurgen Moltmann, The Church in the Power of the Spirit
And so from the start, where Jesus is, And so from the start, where Jesus is, there is the church, the church is the assembly of those who are finding their relationships, their lives transformed by the presence of Jesus.
how to manage the crossover from what we do to what God does…..with the sacramental life flowing through as a sign and channel of Gods action. We might need to sit light to a lot of the externals, to break the mould and concentrate on what sort of environment allows God the space to be God, actively and transformingly.
Unity Diversity is part of Gods gracious purpose but Diversity is part of Gods gracious purpose but separation and mutual recognition is not. There must be new forms of church, outside the walls There must be new forms of church, outside the walls of the existing church and distinct from the community from which it came. Separation there must be- for the sake of mission but equally separation cannot be the last word for the gospel is about Gods purpose to unite all things in Christ. Ecumenical Review 29
Long term issues resources leadership mission community autonomy and accountability
1.Start at different places 2.The danger of waiting for the perfect church 3.Bigger and broader than we conceive 4.Gathered and dispersed 5.Issues of maturity and sustainability 6.Importance of interdependence
1.Passion focused more than project 2.Network not just neighbourhood 3.Fluid more than fixed 4.Fragile more than finished 5.Lay not just ordained
what we need is the patience and nerve to start telling the story again and let the God of Mission recreate his church. +Stephen Cottrell