Inspiring post from Mike Moynagh!
from VCP 2014 & VC Maritimes speaker Mike Moynagh
Mike was one of the speakers at two recent conferences the Wycliffe College Institute of Evangelism co-sponsored. In a recent post he talked about research showing that innovators often start with where they are and what they know.
“I can see many examples of something similar among pioneers of fresh expressions of church in the UK. Take Carol, for example (not her real name). She works as a nurse in a medical practice. That is part of who she is.
What does she know? She knows that an unusually high proportion of the new mothers seen by the doctors she works with have postpartum depression. She also knows that mothers suffering from postpartum depression are greatly helped if they meet with other new moms.
Who does she know? A minister and his wife who live in the neighborhood where many of these mothers also reside. So she asked the minister if he and his wife would host a weekly support group for new mothers. He agreed, and the group began to meet.
What else does Carol know? She knows what she doesn’t know. Mothers are attending the group regularly but she does not know how to encourage them to take a next step toward Jesus.
But who does she know? A friend who has recently become a Christian. So Carol asked this friend what she should do. As a result, she put together a menu of ideas for what the group might do next. She offered the menu to the group, which chose an option that helped them to start exploring the difference Jesus can make to people’s lives. In time, the group has become what is effectively a new expression of church.
If anyone had asked Carol to start a fresh expression of church in an abstract, total sense, she might have run a mile. But a step-by-step approach, building on who she was, what she knew and who she knew, worked perfectly for her.
So let’s keep fresh expressions of church simple. Just start with what you’ve got – and pray!”
Michael Moynagh is the Research Director for Fresh Expressions U.K. and is author of the book Church for Every Context (SCM, 2012).