A couple of reflections about the meeting yesterday with Bishop Cray...
I gotta get me a copy of Mission-Shaped Church, the report from the Church of England about Mission and Evangelism. This document is a blockbuster in terms of opening up the CoE, and everyone keeps referencing it.
I need to check out the training resources developed through the Fresh Expressions project. What's there that's worth me spending a lot of time with?
Doing traditional church better (a model based on attraction) at best means competing for only about 6% of the population--but being a different kind of church has virtually infinite potential.
- Planting not cloning
- "Dying to live" (cf. John 12:24)
- Less detailed advanced planning; more discernment in context
- Seeing what God is doing and jumping in
"...do not try to call them back to where they were, and do not try to call them to where you are, beautiful as that place may seem to you. You must have the courage to go with them to a place that neither you nor they have been before." Vincent Donovan
Mission to Community to Worship, not Worship to Community to Mission
A sign of maturity in a Fresh Expression is that they know they need inherited church, and vice versa.
Every form of church is provisional and incomplete.
Fresh Expressions require a new ecclesiology, but they also need a new and robust eschatology to backup all that Kingdom-talk. We need a new language for the Christian hope that is more than just middle-class suburban bliss and do-good-isms or maintaining a repository of "culture."
If the decline of the church is our fault (for not adapting to changing need) than it can be addressed through a process of repentence (cf. Bob Jackson).