MISSION SHAPED CHURCH church planting and fresh expressions of church in a changing context. General Synod Feb. 2004
Approved by General Synod In each diocese there should be a strategy for the encouragement and resourcing of church planting and fresh expressions of church, reflecting the network and neighbourhood reality of society and of mission opportunity. This strategy should be developed with ecumenical collaboration. MSC Fresh Expressions6
MISSION SHAPED CHURCH This is primarily a report on what the Church of England is already doing in many dioceses, rather than a recommendation that it begin something novel. There is good news to tell, and our recommendations come from a review of actual practice.
FRESH EXPRESSIONS OF CHURCH Alternative worship communities Base Ecclesial Communities Café church Cell church Multiple & Midweek congregations (Missional clusters, midsize communities) Network churches School based church
FRESH EXPRESSIONS OF CHURCH Seeker churches Traditional (geographical) church plants Traditional forms of church inspiring new interest (including New Monasticism) Youth congregations Family and Under Fives Congregations Childrens congregations. Fresh Expressions9
Celebrating and building on what is mission-shaped in traditional forms of church… …and finding new, flexible, appropriate ways to proclaim the Gospel afresh to those who do not relate to traditional ways The mixed economy
Parallel Developments Revision of the Ordinal Mission leadership criterion for all ordinands
February 2009 That this Synod (a) affirm the mixed economy of traditional churches and fresh expressions of church, working in partnership, as the most promising mission strategy in a fast changing culture; 12
February 2009 (b) encourage those responsible for vocations and training in dioceses and parishes to promote the imaginative recruitment, training and deployment of ordained and lay pioneer ministers in and beyond title posts; Fresh Expressions13
February 2009 (c) commend the making of Bishops' Mission Order to integrate suitable fresh expressions of church in the life of the dioceses; and Fresh Expressions14
February 2009 (d) request the Mission and Public Affairs Division and the Research and Statistics Unit to gather evidence on the spiritual and numerical growth of the mixed economy church in general and fresh expressions of church in particular, and to bring a further report or reports to Synod in the next quinquennium.' Fresh Expressions15
what is a fresh expression? 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 and 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
called to proclaim afresh The Church of England... professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds, Which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Bringing the grace and truth of Christ to this generation.
A fresh expression of church is Missional – it seeks to benefit non- churchgoers Contextual – it seeks to fit the context Formational – it aims to form disciples Ecclesial – it intends to become church
Definition Disciplining the language. Fresh Expressions34
fresh expressions Not the opposite of stale Not a rebranding of existing work Not a bridge project designed to being people to existing church Not the opposite of traditional – the complement to it.
fresh expressions Not church-lite But deep church taking the right shape in the right place at a price … the comfort and convenience of those who plant it
Emerging Church? Some people are particularly concerned for mission and they value the conversation, because it has helped them to think about how to reform the church in ways that will increase their capacity to see churches grow as they reach out to others in a post-Christendom society. Fresh Expressions38
Emerging Church? Other groups have found in the emerging conversation resources to enable them to reinvent church when they were on the verge of leaving. For them the key concern has been with authenticity, with creating a space in which they could express their spirituality honestly and practice their faith with integrity. Fresh Expressions39
Fringe churchgoers (less often but at least 6x yr. ) 3% 1.4m Open de-churched 5% 1.9m Closed de-churched 26% 10.8m Open non-churched 1% 0.5m Closed non-churched 33% 13.7m Unassigned 2% 1.0m Other religions 7% 3.0m Regular churchgoers (at least monthly) 14% 5.9m Occasional churchgoers (less often but at least annually) 7% 2.9m Base: Adults 16+ in England (unw. 5907 w. 5774) Popn (000s) = 41,043 ENGLAND Church attendance and experience segmentation in 2006
Time bomb! The Church is almost fourteen years older than the general population of England. C of E average– over 61 National average – under 47
More of the same just means less of the same. Fresh Expressions44
Paying our debts I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith. Romans 1:14-16 Theology Point 1.46
The Churchs Challenge Who will our current forms of church never reach? Do we have a spiritual responsibility to those with no knowledge of the faith? Hence – fresh expressions of church!
Key phrases Seeing what God is doing and joining in Dying to live Fresh Expressions56
BEING AND BECOMING The church is missionary by its very nature and it becomes missionary by attending to each and every context in which it finds itself. Bevans & Schroeder
Archbishop Rowan We keep faith with our society by searching all the time for the words and acts that keep faith today with the essence of Jesus challenge to the culture, religion and the righteousness of his day. And this means a difficult and constantly renewed discernment. Fresh Expressions58
A fresh expressions journey loving and serving building community exploring discipleship church taking shape underpinned by prayer, ongoing listening and relationship with the wider church listening do it again
Learning to be the church in our current context Missionary by nature learning to be missionary in practice In response to the love of God Fresh Expressions60
Is this niche church? Widening the scope of effective mission Mainly new congregations not independent churches Starting points not final destinations
Change the Churchs default settings to mission and mixed economy
Better fresh expressions Contextually appropriate discipleship, mission and worship Sustainability Developing indigenous leadership Retaining a missional perspective Etc. Fresh Expressions73
Owned fresh expressions The development of the FEAST network. National denominational diplomacy. Work with senior leaders (Bishops, District Chairs, Moderators) Advocacy for the long term deployment of pioneer ministers. Close links with the national ecumenical bodies Fresh Expressions74
The next generation Passing on an inheritance. Fresh Expressions75
Young Adults the missing generation 7.5% of population in church on average Sunday BUT only 3% of 20-30 year olds Of these 27% worship in London. The black hole in most churches!
Missional orders and communities Fresh Expressions77
A new missionary movement REACHING BEYOND THE REACH OF EXISTING CHURCHES A new missionary movement – self supporting missionaries Planting fresh expressions in different life circumstances, or wherever the Spirit directs Accountable to the churches and one another through missionary Orders Fresh Expressions78
Health Warning! No quick fix! Long-term incarnational ministry among the majority group who have never been part of church.
FROM INITIATIVE TO MOVEMENT Fresh Expressions 80
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