The 3-Self Principle – Which end of the telescope?

It was Henry Venn, the CMS pioneer missionary who coined the 3-self principle for guiding the development of church plants, over a century ago.

He proposed the principle from his experience of taking the gospel to new cultures in other continents. His aim was to see the growth of indigenous faith communities that were neither shaped by the missionaries’ culture nor dependent on the mission agency’s ongoing resourcing. Continue reading “The 3-Self Principle – Which end of the telescope?”

Connecting the Centre to the Edge, 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.  Continue reading “Connecting the Centre to the Edge, Graham Cray”

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. Continue reading “The Homogeneous Hot Potato”