According to the recently-published statistics, the Methodist Church and the Church of England each have one thousand fresh expressions of church, which involve a total of 66,000 people, meeting at least once per month. In addition, fresh expressions are developing in the United Reformed Church, the Congregational Federation, the Church of Scotland and other traditions. […]
You’ve probably seen the headlines, headlines such as: “Churches come tumbling down. . . . Canadian Christendom is destined for history’s sunset.” (Globe and Mail, Christmas 2007) According to Canadian sociologist Reginald Bibby there is a perception, particularly among academics and the media that religion in Canada is a fossil, a vanishing holdover from an […]
Standing Stones. Thanks to Margaret Marschall, Editor of the Edmonton/Athabasca paper, The Messenger This morning I was part of a monthly gathering of church planters in Edmonton. We gather to support and encourage one another, and we take it in turns to discuss issues that are concerning us in our ministries. At the end of […]
The arched eyebrow of an 8 year old girl who has just recently mastered the art can be a bone chilling sight. The eyebrow went along with the “Planting churches Mummy ?” that greeted me as I had tidied up some advertising cards for the Vital Church Planting Conference that I had left on the […]
What exactly is Fresh Expressions? More than anything, it seems to be a spontaneous initiative of the Holy Spirit—if that doesn’t sound too presumptuous. One thing it is not, however, is a program. There is no Fresh Expressions manual with a one-two-three handy-dandy guide to setting up a wonderful fresh expression of church. In some ways, […]
Vincent Donovan was a Catholic missionary to the Maasai in Tanzania in the 1960’s and 1970’s. His book Christianity Rediscovered (Orbis 1978) has been a best-seller ever since, and I am not the only teacher who has used it in classes on mission and evangelism to help students think through issues of Gospel and culture.
If we are to become a church shaped by and for God’s mission in this world, the last thing we need is a fresh expression of amnesia. 233 variations of the word “remember” appear in Old and New Testaments. As poet and philosopher George Santayana has it, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
We live today in a culture of ‘Big’. Big box stores, Multiplex Cinemas, massive subdivisions, and across North America in the last two decades, something else big-the megachurch. Because these churches are big they can offer the very best music, audio-visual presentations, great sound systems and specialized teaching skills. They are among the fastest growing […]
The ‘Strength’ of the Church is Never Anything Other Than the Strength of the Presence of the Risen Jesus
When you hear the term ‘fresh expressions’ being used as a bit of a joke, at least you know it’s arrived! You can hear people talking about proposals for new arrangements in a PCC [parish council] or Synod as fresh expressions of church admin; or music groups as a fresh expression of organs… What is […]
Interest in Fresh Expressions seems to be everywhere. Bishops are talking about it. Students are talking about it. Every church doing something new-even a coffee hour after the main service-seems to be boasting that it is doing a “fresh expression.” And, of course, Canada now has its very own Team Leader for Fresh Expressions Canada-Nick […]
What are Fresh Expressions of Church? If people have an image of the Church of England, it is generally of an elderly, genteel and sleepy church, centering on ancient, decaying buildings in delightful rural settings. Although those churches certainly exist, the full reality is very different. I think this came home to me some years […]
The heart of evangelism is always the same—helping people take steps towards faith in Jesus—but the ways in which it happens can change from culture to culture, and decade to decade.