Archives by: James Henley

Resurrection Day

Happy Easter from The Lab! The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of ... Read more

10 Metaphors For Mission

There are many different metaphors or images to describe the Mission of God throughout the bible and Christian tradition. Here are just ten of them which you may or may not have encountered before: 1. Sending The Latin root of the word mission (“missio”) literally means sending, originating with Jesus' command to his disciples to “Go!”. 2. Proclaiming In Luke's gospel, Jesus sends out the twelve and then the seventy-two to “proclaim the Kingdom of God”. The proclamation metaphor is central to the traditional Reformed/Protestant understanding ... Read more

FREE eBOOK: Following the Missionary Spirit

We've collected together all of our Taylor Tuesdays posts into a free e-book. The downloadable PDF features all 12 Taylor Tuesdays reflections, each featuring: A quote on mission from J.V. Taylor's Go-Between God Some commentary and reflections Questions for you to ponder which connect Taylor's thoughts with your own mission context   The PDF is ideal to use in your own personal quiet time or as a group study. Download it here. Read more

Personhood and the Benefit System

Last summer, myself and some other Anglican ordinands were taken on a field trip to visit a really community-engaged church which, among many other things, was working with a local Money Advice Centre. As we sat around, the manager of the centre told us the stories of people who were struggling to survive through changes to the current benefit system. She told the story of a man living in a four-bedroom house who had fallen prey of the bedroom tax because one of ... Read more

Llan, a new monastic community in Cardiff

Llan is a new monastic fresh expression of church based in Cardiff, South Wales, drawing on the very Welsh traditions of monasticism and Celtic spirituality. We showed this Llan video profile at our last mission shaped ministry day and it went down really well. There's also a lot more information on the Llan website, as well as a blog from James Karran, the Baptist pioneer minister who leads it. I particular love the name 'Llan', and it's connection to historical Welsh culture and ... Read more

Mission-shaped Methodism

As we've recently explored the relationship between fresh expressions of church, pioneer ministry and Anglican identity, I've been on the look out for helpful perspectives from other denominations. On my travels I found this video from last April, in which Andrew Roberts explores the relationship between the origins and values of Methodism and new forms of church and pioneer ministry. You can find the original post on the Fresh Expressions website, along with a transcript. Read more

The Experiments: Youth work resources exploring hands-on spirituality

The Experiments, our first homegrown youth work resource enabling young people to explore hands-on spirituality, is now available! Created in partnership with StreetSpace and Frontier Youth Trust, The Experiments is a pair of youth work resources to explore hands-on spirituality with young people over a series of 10 sessions. Each session looks at one of the beatitudes, stripped of religious language and presented as five practical experiments that tap into the value and spirituality beneath it. Leaders Guide The Experiments Leaders Guide is available as a free pdf ... Read more

St David’s Continuing Ministerial Development Day

It was great to be with St David's Diocese today to contribute to the CMD day on children, families and young people. You can download the slides from my session on Pioneer Youth Ministry. And here's the free PDF Leaders Guide for the Experiments resource. Here are links to the two books I mentioned in the session: Here be Dragons: Youth Work and Mission Off The Map by Richard & Lorimer Passmore Target: Missional Communities with Young People and Students by Rich Atkinson   And finally, there are lots of ... Read more

Episcopal Oversight [Anglican Pioneer Ministry #4]

In the last post of our mini-series on Pioneer Ministry and Anglican Identity, we touch on supervision and accountability for pioneer ministry. Why Bishops? The role of the Bishop is hugely significant to Anglican practice and identity. According to Ramsey (1985, p.96): [a Bishop should] remember that his role is apostolic. His apostolicity is seen not only in pedigree which he holds but in his role of guiding the Church in its mission. It is the Bishop who has ultimate responsibility for the life of ... Read more

Sacramental Worship [Anglican Pioneer Ministry #3]

Welcome to the third part of our mini-series on Pioneer Ministry and Anglican Identity. This time we're exploring sacramental worship. How important are the sacraments? The practice of the sacraments, and in particular the two apostolic sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist, are at the very core of the way that the Anglican Church expresses its identity in worship. Anglican theologian, Daniel Hardy writes: [The celebration of the Eucharist] is the major way by which the social meaning of the Church is consistently referred to ... Read more
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