Forming Church

Come and See: A guide to beginning and sustaining a missional venture by Ian Adams

Come and See is Ian Adams' guide on how to start a missional venture or community in 20 simple steps. Ian was involved in the emerging church community mayBe, in Oxford, and among other things now works with CMS to encourage and support missional communities, orders and hubs across the UK. I've finally had the chance to take a look and this looks to be a really simple useful resource for those involved in mission initiatives and communities. It's a PDF ebook available ... 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

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

The Parish [Anglican Pioneer Ministry #2]

Welcome to the second part of our mini-series on Pioneer Ministry and Anglican Identity. In this post, we're going to tackle the parish system, how it has formed Anglican ministry, and what this means for pioneering mission and ministry. The origins of the parish The parish system lies at the very heart of the structure of the Anglican church, to the extent that it is difficult to license the ministry of a church, unless it has a parish or territory (Rees, 2006). For Martyn ... Read more

New Mini-Series: Pioneer Ministry and Anglican Identity

Some of my recent thinking has been on the tension between approaches to pioneer mission and inherited church structures. In particular, the interaction between pioneer ministry and Anglican identity and practice. Over the next four weeks, in a little mini-series drawing on some of my MA work, I thought it'd be interesting to explore these tensions. Apologies for those from other denominational backgrounds that we'll be looking primarily at Anglican identity, but this is simply because of my own sense of denominational identity and ... Read more

Fresh Expressions and Church Growth Infographics

Here are some infographics which detail key research gathered on fresh expressions of church and growing parish churches. These are courtesy of Fresh Expressions and the Church of England's Church Growth Research Programme report released today: Read the report of the findings so far from the Church of England's Church Growth Research Programme. Read more

10 indicators of a fresh expression of church

What makes a fresh expression of church? On the first day of the mission shaped ministry course we're helping to host in Newport, there was some discussion about what makes something a fresh expression of church. 5 indicators that something is a fresh expression: Was something Christian and communal brought to ‘birth’ that was new and further, rather than an existing group modified? Has the starting group tried to engage with non church goers? There was intention to create a fresh expression of Church, not ... Read more

#8: Fresh expressions and little congregations #TaylorTuesdays

What are the similarities between Taylor's 'little congregations' and fresh expressions of church ? Writing in 1972, Taylor sees the ultimate fruit of the house-church movement of his time being found in the birth of many diverse 'little congregations'. It's remarkable to see the similarities between Taylor's vision and the many fresh expressions of church which are being birthed as new congregations across the UK and further afield. Taylor makes three important observations about these little congregations: They will all be different. Some will be ... Read more
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