Pioneer ministries and fresh expressions of church


Wednesday 24 March 2010

New Monasticism

'The restoration of the Church must surely come from a new kind of monasticism, which will have only one thing in common with the old, a life lived without compromise according to the Sermon on the Mount in the following of Jesus.  I believe the time has come to gather people together for this.'

Could have come from any of the recent books, papers and conferences on the subject of Fresh Expressions and new monasticism.  Actually it is from a letter written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to his brother on 14 January 1935!  It is quoted by Ray Simpson in his recent excellent book, 'High Street Monasteries' (Kevin Mayhew, 2009). 

The book is well worth a read for those involved in pioneering fresh ways of being church as it includes a really useful survey of the older and more recent expressions of monasticism, describes some contemporary examples, and offers a vision for the future.  I love his idea of 'Villages of God' and the diagram on p.102 is brilliant. It's quite a slim book and a bit pricey at £9.99, but worth getting hold of.

Friday 19 March 2010

Breakout gathering for Pioneers

There's a great gathering for Pioneers happening in July called Breakout which should be well worth going to if you are a pioneer or lead a fresh expression of church. John Drane and Kate Middleton are speakers, as well as Ken Clarke, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh. But probably the greatest value for practitioners will be the support and networking opportunties. VentureFX is a full partner with Fresh Expressions and Church Army in putting this gathering on and we are hoping for around 100 or so people to come. Pass the word along, but do emphasise that it is for practitioners because that is the real value of the event.  It's at Kings Park, Northanpton from 5-7 July 2010 and more details are on the Breakout website.

Monday 8 March 2010

Did you know ...

Ninety percent of the British people rarely or never enter a church for any truly religious purpose ... What of that tragic sixty per cent who have no point of contact with us, and desire none; who are living entirely secular lives, who are profoundly ignorant of Christianity and quite sceptical as to its relevance to their needs? 

A quote from a recent book on contemporary mission in the UK?  No, a quotation from 'The Report of the Eastbourne Enquiry on "The Local Preacher and Evangelism"' published in, wait for it ....1949!