Following the missionary Spirit: the story so far

Tuesday, 27 November, 2012

Following the missionary Spirit: the story so far in the UK and around the world. This video was prepared for the Following the missionary Spirit event in London on 22nd November 2012 to summarise where the fresh expressions movement has reached so far - and where it might be going next.

Duration: 8:38   | Download Download video (flv) | Download Download video (wmv) | View on YouTube


This video includes extensive onscreen captions which are not included in the following transcript.

Avril Chisnall: When you're doing a fresh expression like we're doing and we certainly believe that what we have is a church with our volunteers and our community members I can tell you umpteen stories of people that have had their lives changed because of who we've been and that's all it's been. We haven't done churchy stuff, we've just been who we are. Real people like Jesus was. And how do you build a kingdom? By the way Jesus did it.

Claire Dalpra: We take very seriously what is included under the definition of a fresh expression of church and whether or not something is intended to be ecclesial or not. We work with ten definitional criteria and all of those are trying to get to the heart of whether something is intended to be church. And we leave out those things that are intended to be a bridge. It's no value judgement, we're just trying to be clear about what we're including under our definition. In terms of average attendance size, we're delighted to find that the average attendance is 40.

Lucy Moore: Fresh Expressions has been a huge help to Messy Church. Featuring on the Fresh Expressions DVD, that very first DVD, was brilliant because it took Messy Church out to countries all over the world which needed to hear about it and it was also something about the recognition that this was a way of being church, not just some little thing for children on the side, but actual serious church and that's been hugely helpful for the people running it.

Bart Woodhouse: In a new community, how do we make it a strong vibrant and healthy place to live. So very early on we did things like a community carol service. It was in the open air, there was no other building to hold it in, no other venue, so we held it in one of these pocket park areas. Last year we stumbled upon the Big Lunch initiative and we had a lovely time, we had a bouncy castle and a barbecue and we got local people to bring food along, that they'd made in their own home, that expressed something of them - so kind of a signature dish or something from their culture. So we had goat curry and many other wonderful dishes that were brought along to that big lunch and the community came together and we had about 60 or 70 people come along to that which from a small community that we are at the moment that was quite a big proportion of the people here.

Claire Dalpra: Overall, we are pleasantly surprised at how many non-churched people are being connected with through fresh expressions of church. The proportions work out that for every five people involved in a fresh expression of church, one is a Christian, two are de-churched and two are non-churched. Connecting with the non-churched is still a significant and long-term challenge but our research shows that important inroads are being made.

Mark Broomhead: I've got a long background in church and  I come all packaged up with all my prejudices and preconceptions of what church should be so when we come and say we're going to really try and listen to a community and try and do church for that community it's... I found it quite hard because I want to have something that's quantifiable in a nice neat box that I can sit here and show you statistics and unfortunately life doesn't work that way. So at the moment we're in a... we're in a time of listening and working out what works, trying things and when they don't work they don't work and if they do work we try and build on them. But mostly I'm building honest relationships.


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