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Fresh expressions for mission and discipleship in rural contexts.

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Presentation on theme: "Fresh expressions for mission and discipleship in rural contexts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fresh expressions for mission and discipleship in rural contexts




5 Where do you come from?

6 But... what is rural?

7 What different factors influence mission and discipleship in rural areas in your country compared to urban ones? (Discuss)

8 Mission = Being Sent Discipleship = Being Learners Go then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28.19

9 One minister for several churches

10 … lack of resources/ facilities

11 Revd Collins new 8am hip hop communion service didnt quite connect with the congregation at St Marys Traditional outlooks

12 How is discipleship different in rural areas? In Britain some of the factors would include... Smaller numbers Several churches with one minister Lack of local facilities/resources Traditional outlooks (from who?) It never used to be like this Village community Possibly lots of people around only part time

13 Also... The countryside is changing From farming to commuting and tourism Greater mobility Weakening sense of village community Less experience of church in rural dwellers than in the past Community through networks Consumer culture - buying into ideas From a religion of obligation to a religion of consumption - Christendom is dead How do these changes compare to changes in more urban areas?

14 The Parable of the Would-Be Farmer

15 Conclusions from Mission shaped church This means assessing the old and valuing where and for whom it works It means investing in, creating & nurturing a diversity of the new The existing parochial system alone is no longer able to deliver its underlying missionary purpose We need a mixed economy – no longer promoting one way of being church

16 Fresh Expressions Of Church Alternative worship communities Café church Cell church Churches arising out of community initiatives Midweek congregations Network based church Youth congregations

17 Inculturation - Key Principles Prayer Prayer Incarnation – a community process from below We need to move from detailed advance planning to discernment in context Dying to live What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 1 Corinthians 15.36

18 Rural Youth Networks Threshold Network Church – Youung Peoples Cell - Lincs

19 Rural Youth Networks Eden – Youth Congregation (Derek Spencer) Steyning Grammar School West Sussex

20 Alternative in its context Sunday 4.6 – Holsworthy Area

21 Alternative Rural Worship The Gathering

22 Church transformed by rural community initiatives

23 Rural shades of café church Cafeplus+ First Sunday of the month 9:30am - 12:30pm The Village Hall, Haddenham, Bucks Cafeplus+ offers a place to: chill out over a cup of real coffee and the Sunday papers meet your friends or make new ones! take the children for some fun activities get some peace in our 'quiet space' enjoy breakfast and some 'Food4thought' join in a range of different activities for young and old alike

24 Rural shades of cafe church Xpresso, in Loddon, South Norfolk

25 Tas Valley cell church story

26 one way forward – our story Alpha Cells Outward Contact Nurture and Discipleship

27 culture where Gospel is being shared church/planting team sharing the Gospel God speaks – His Gospel the theory bit: inculturation

28 As the Father sent me, so I send you… Receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, Starting with God Mission in the power of the Spirit The pattern of Jesus mission 1. Incarnation 2. Dying to Live

29 Georgias baptism

30 thinking about values All Involved Becoming Disciples Creating Community Doing Evangelism Encountering God

31 Why cell is good for rural discipleship It delivers the small church from having to be all things to all people It widens principled choice about how to be church It challenges attendance mentality It is a natural lead in from process evangelism –It nurtures and develops young Christians in the same participative style in which they found faith It fits with the best of rural church – local, lay led and small

32 How can cell sit well with rural? In a MPB there is variety already, so one more is less threat and parish boundaries are permeable It fits well with the release of gifts in the laity Network is normal in a rural context : e.g. Mums groups, schools, farmers market Network based means its not controlled by any one parish… Rural Cell church – a new wayside flower ? Encounters on the Edge 29 pp 18ff

33 praying for our villages

34 If you get into mission… Learn to expect that this process will change church, more than you ever expected

35 General pointers for Rural Mission Small is good

36 General pointers for Rural Mission Remain connected to the Body

37 Growing the New Alongside the Old General pointers for Rural Mission

38 Grow lay leadership and nurture lay initiative

39 General pointers for rural mission Work with agricultural seasons and local rhythms

40 General pointers for rural mission Connect with the inheritance of the place

41 General pointers for rural mission Seek partnership where critical mass is needed

42 General pointers for rural mission Be committed for the long haul

43 As the Father sent me, so I send you… Receive the Holy Spirit. Dont forget the basics.... Starting with God Mission in the power of the Spirit The pattern of Jesus mission 1. Incarnation 2. Dying to Live

44 Oak trees and primroses We treated our churches as if they were all oak trees – able to grow to any size and live virtually for ever. One plant could fill the whole parish garden more or less permanently. But most congregations are primroses – they have a limited, vigorous individual life, and they grow and spread to fill the ground by division into large numbers of individual plants Bob Jackson, Hope for the Church, Church House Publishing, 2002. p.132

45 The ends of the earth … the unthinkable? Non-Churched Samaria … the disagreeable? De-Churched From Jerusalem ….. to Judea … the familiar? Fringe Churched PS – Notice what happens to the old centre

46 Who is it for ? Adults, teens, multigenerational Its here the new Christians grow in faith Incomers to the village : This is the most significant mission field for rural church. –The new villagers are here for leisure and recreation –They are the growing percentage of the population –Many are there for the long haul –They will by skill and attitude become dominant in the village Most cell members were the de-churched. The road to the non churched is even longer… Rural Cell church – a new wayside flower ? Encounters on the Edge No 29 pp 10-12

47 More reasons Sheer Pragmatism – I can only come on Tuesday, and Sunday isnt good because … It helps with the anonymous factor –To start going to church would ruin a well cultivated non-religious reputation of a life time Its mixed economy thinking in practice. –Value the traditional and the fresh expression of church –Have both to be church to a greater variety of people…

48 But is it really church? One(fellowship/ Love) Holy (obedience/ worship) Catholic(universal) Apostolic(missionary) With Jesus at the heart

49 Something like this ? Church Plants fill the holes the parishes cannot reach English Gruyere ? Mixed Economy means being glad that

50 Looking at the mission field Non Churched (40%) Regular attenders – at least monthly (10%) Fringe - less than monthly (10%) Open de-churched (20%) Closed de-churched (20%)

51 Episcope: a focus of… Episcope VALUES and guarding them VISION and seeing it is done UNITY and Connectedness CARE of leaders RECOGNISING gifts and callings

52 Listening to rural cultural change and some responses AgricultureTourismEnvironment Population shift Social capital Farm Groups Hidden Britain Eco-congregations Fountain of Life Hollybush

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