Here is an extract from the European Church Planting Network’s (ECPN) concept Paper 1. It tells of Zolder50 church made up of missionary small groups and one of their activities that keeps them in mission motivated mode… heading off together for a weekend of prayer, listening and “loitering with intent” in other villages, towns and cities. How about adding some of this vision where you are? Continue reading “Mission Cells – small groups on the move for planting!”
In seeking to lead a church into a more missional quality, it can be helpful to recognise that there are three broad options. All can be effective, but wise leadership will assess which is appropriate for the stage of the church’s life and the context. Some contemporary literature may suggest that one or other is preferable but it is our contention that best practice involves selecting the right option based on these highly variable factors.
The term emerging church is used by lots of people nowadays and, somewhat confusingly, often seems to be used by different people to mean quite different things. For some it’s just the trend towards new and different sorts of church that may be more contemporary and relevant to today’s culture and context. To others it’s all about the dynamics of the process through which these new or fresh expressions of church arise. In this article Bob Hopkins explores three approaches to church planting and fresh expressions, showing where emerging church fits and how it relates to other forms of church. Continue reading “Making Sense of the Emerging Church”
To speak or not to speak of Attractional Church, that is the question
Contexts are different around the world and even within one country … and furthermore they are changing rapidly. Not only that but how we understand language is different from place to place, even within a single language group like English … and now even in one place the meaning that we put on particular words is changing.
Faced with this problem, Mike Breen blogs about why he will no longer use the term Attractional Church… and Bob Hopkins, a close colleague but working on the other side of the “Pond”, responds with an explanation of why and how it will continue in his vocabulary! Continue reading “Attractional Church”
It is essential to recognise that Christian nurture and discipleship are happening in Messy Church events/communities:
- It is suggested that Messy Church provides “shallow end” discipleship.
Whilst we shall argue that there is considerable scope to strengthen discipleship in most Messy Church events/communities, we should not ignore the discipleship that is happening. This is in teaching bible truth; experiencing praise, worship and prayer; participating in fellowship and community; corporate activity and meals. For some participants in deprived areas, sharing in the cooking and eating together is discipling in quality family life they know little of.
- It can be acknowledged that although all-age, we enter the kingdom as children
In response to the mission challenge of post-Christendom in the West, all sorts of new expressions of church are arising. Many have helped us discover small cells that offer a place of intimacy and discipleship.
Bob Hopkins wrote a book with Mike Breen, which recounts a journey of discovery in an area where we thought we knew exactly how the church worked – the congregation. It tells the story and explores the principles that can radically reconfigure the mid-sized expression of church to recover true biblical congregation as extended family and community in mission. Continue reading “Clusters – creative mid- sized missional communities”
From the early 90’s some pioneers became aware that cultural change was happening so rapidly that the emerging generation had in many cases become distinct from mainstream culture. Responding to this insight, they began to plant generation specific churches. Some specifically aimed to connect with non-church teens and others more focused on young adults. Continue reading “Planting Youth Congregations – ‘Eternity’”
Nick Spencer, a consultant for the Henley Centre, wrote an article for Christian Research on the need to rediscover the Minster model. He argued that in seeking to reverse the chronic long-term decline we need to overcome problems from the past with solutions also inspired by the past. Continue reading “Rediscovering the ‘Minster Model’”
Over recent years the number of cafes has steadily increased to the point that now there are not only cafes in most towns and city areas butthere become café zones. And they are frequented to such an extent that they become the social hubs for whole networks, which then can be described as “café culture”. Even many villages may now have more than one café. Continue reading “Cafe Church – evaluating a range of approaches”
One of the most popular and fruitful forms of fresh expression over the past few years has been Messy Church, which was first pioneered by Lucy Moore and her team. Typically, Messy Church builds a community around a monthly event, which brings parents and children together to engage in creativity, worship … and food! It is relaxed, fun and accessible for people wanting to belong to a Christian community but struggle to be part of traditional church. Continue reading “Messy Church – Nurture and Discipleship”