Pray as you mean to go on

Monday, 18 February, 2013

Graham Cray's monthly e-xpressions column.

We have emphasized all along our belief that the growth of fresh expressions of church is evidence of a movement of the Holy Spirit. For the Church of England, at least, George Lings sees it as dating back long before we created the current vocabulary.

The growth of church planting in the Church of England since 1980... is a discernible movement of the Spirit in our day.
David Goodhew (ed.), Church Growth in Britain, Ashgate Contemporary Ecclesiology Series, 2012

Movements of the Holy Spirit require dependence on the Holy Spirit. We have always emphasized this in developing the practice for planting fresh expressions, with its emphasis on discernment and prayerful listening, and with the understanding that mission is 'seeing what God is doing and joining in.'

But if fresh expressions of church are born in prayer they need to be sustained in prayer also. No Street Pastor team goes out unless there is a prayer meeting sustaining them the whole time they are on the streets. In the same way I encourage every fresh expression to develop regular committed prayer support. Just as God has called many new leaders and helpers into this work of mission, should we not also expect him to be calling others to pray? Regular focused prayer is one of the very best ways in which the mixed economy of fresh expressions and more traditional churches can be a reality and not just a theory. Most churches have their 'prayer warriors', their faithful people whose consistent unseen prayer is far more important than most people realize. Let them loose on our fresh expressions!

We are delighted to have 24/7 Prayer as partners in Fresh Expressions - check out their website for prayer materials available to help you in your prayer support.

+Graham Cray


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