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Two-thirds of the ordained leaders are men, who are more likely to be full-time and paid than the women, who are more likely to be part-time and voluntary. Of the lay leaders, there is a growing proportion almost 80 per cent of what the researchers call "lay lay leaders" - by which they mean "people without formal licensing, and quite possibly without designated training to lead a fresh expression of church, who nevertheless are doing so, usually in their spare time".

Interestingly, exactly the same phenomenon is seen in the statistics of the Methodist Church, which has 46, attending fresh expressions. The Fresh Expressions team is also aware of examples where a fresh expression which was founded, or led by, a priest or Church Army evangelist is now under able lay leadership.

What is a fresh expression of church (C02.02)

Anyone exploring ordination in the Church of England, and who is seen as having a capacity for "oversight", is expected to have an ability to "pioneer". This is demonstrated by the many clergy who are also involved in starting and leading an impressive variety of models of fresh expression. The sheer number of "lay lay leaders" helps dispel a myth.

Some parishes fear that planting a fresh expression of church will be one further demand on the same overworked volunteers. But the research reveals many new leaders who had not been energised by calls to staff existing programmes, but by these new missionary possibilities.

At St George's parish in Deal, a process of prayer and discernment led to the establishment of a range of missional communities. There had been a hidden resource for leadership in mission, which was now being revealed. The evidence suggests that this could be true for many more parishes.

Fresh Expressions of Faith

The Church Army research team excluded nearly half the examples considered, because they did not meet strict criteria. Some projects were primarily for existing churchpeople, while others were intended as a bridge to existing church rather than the planting of the new. The sheer scale of the other projects considered makes it likely that many more "lay lay" leaders are involved in them as well. View cookies policy. Zoom Zoom.

Fresh Expressions of Church in England

Availability Usually despatched within 2 weeks. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Share. Description Reviews More Details. Description 'Anyone contemplating the future shape of the Church will find here an accessible, practical and prayerful tool for understanding pioneer ministry. Herbert was a friend of St Cuthbert and would visit him on Lindisfarne for spiritual direction.

Pioneer Ministry

Posted on July 26, in fresh expressions , mission , pilgrimage , pioneer , poetry , spirituality Permalink Comments 0. The strange irony of General Synod debating fresh expressions of church, straight after a 'business as usual' budget presentation. I believe fervently that the Fresh Expressions movement is the single most significant development in the church in this country for decades. This wonderfully ambiguous phrase — is the church the agent of the transformation of others or is it the subject of transformation — leads me to suggest that there are three specific lessons for the wider church.

Firstly, this is predominantly a lay movement. Clergy are set free to be enablers of others — lay people are set free to use their God-given gifts, and their experience in networks outside the church.

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Both are needed. We simply must find ways of learning from fresh expressions and enabling their approach to ministry to shape that of the wider church. And secondly, I would invite us to notice how the principle of contextualisation also opens our eyes to new insights. As the missionary bishop Lesslie Newbigin reminded us, there is no such thing as a pure gospel — there is only a gospel enfleshed in culture and context — the gospel has to be embodied in a cultural context.

If the incarnation of the Son represents a divine act of translation, it is a prelude to repeated acts of re-translation. I put it to you that one of the most critical tasks facing us today, if we are to be a Christian presence in every community, is to learn again what it means to re- translate the gospel into every context and every culture that is now part of our wonderfully diverse nation. And as we translate, so we are transformed, or we might want to say, converted. Finally, I would also note that the Fresh Expressions movement is teaching us about fragility and vulnerability.


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Most fresh expressions of church receive almost no funding. Most Pioneers receive little formal training beyond mentoring and coaching from other Pioneers. As a result, a fair proportion of fresh expressions of church only last a few years.


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  • But their very fragility and vulnerability is an important corrective in the Church of England. We welcomed the news of additional money from the Church Commissioners which will allow us to spend ever increasing amounts on exciting mission initiatives and training new clergy — all good. But there are some us, including bishops like me, who want to ask whether all this money is blinding us to what God is doing at this moment in our history.

    Fresh expressions or inherited church? | Psephizo

    Could it be that the move of the church to the margins of society is a move of God? Could it be that the ending of our powerful status as a key institution governing the hearts and minds of millions of people who have little personal knowledge of Jesus Christ, is a good thing, which we should embrace? Fifteen years after the Mission Shaped Church report, it is right that we should pause to thank God for this truly wonderful move of Gods Spirit.

    Posted on July 11, in fresh expressions , mission , pioneer Permalink Comments 0.