Going for Growth
The Church has left the building: café church, youth church, nursing home church, bikers church - God's Spirit is firing our imagination and preparing people to serve as pioneer ministers in a variety of contexts and situations.
Emerging churches explore a more incarnational model of church - going to people in their different neighbourhoods and networks, building friendships and community, and seeing if some of these communities have the potential for being church, rather than wait until those outside the church come to us.
This is venture hopes to enable the Church of Scotland to face the challenges of ministry and mission in today's world. It's experimental, great fun, and enables us to respond to God's call in different ways.
Fresh Expressions of Church
Fresh expressions are new forms of church that emerge within contemporary culture and engage primarily with those who don’t go to church.
Fresh Expressions Development Worker: David McCarthy firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fresh Expressions movement, which began in 2004, is an ecumenical grouping committed to working with changing culture and those not yet attending church. The Church of Scotland has been a formal partner in Fresh Expressions since 2013, but worked fruitfully with the agency for several years prior to that.
Fresh Expressions have provided access to current research and training and development resources for those looking to pioneer church in a way that is contextually relevant.
In a mapping exercise in 2015/16, 51 Scottish projects were identified as having both the intention and potential to become Fresh Expressions. These are some of the projects being looked at in more depth:
Joint Emerging Church Group
Convener: Andrew Morrice
Secretary: Lesley Hamilton-Messer
Through the Joint Emerging Church Group (JECG) you can find resources, training, and initiatives available to help and inspire emerging churches.
The JECG is a committee of the Faith Nurture Forum (formerly the Mission and Discipleship Council) and the Panel on Review and Reform.
New Charge Development
Traditional churches and ways of worship do not always meet the spiritual needs of the 21st century.
New Charge Development recognises this by taking the Gospel out to people in ways that make sense to them. It is about meeting people where they are and when they are available, and building communities of faith specific to the needs of the local area.
To date, there are 12 new charge developments, and these are growing in numbers all the time. Some are in new buildings, some meet in primary schools, others are developing primarily in house groups. All share a refreshing sense of commitment and evangelism among ministers, core groups, and members alike.
Path of Renewal
The Panel is working to develop a process which will help churches move from using a maintenance approach to a missional one.
Rather than sit and create this on paper, a pilot process with 30 congregations was set up and started in 2016. Through this the Panel hopes to discern the best kind of support for congregations as they seek to make appropriate changes and re-focus on our core calling.
In 2018 a further 25 congregations joined the initial group.
Church Without Walls
The Church Without Walls (CWW) team supports congregations, presbyteries, and church leaders in the understanding and practice of mission.
The team's three Mission Development Workers work with congregations in training, facilitation planning, and strategy for effective and relevant engagement with the community.
The team's main areas of work include:
- Future Focus (a facilitated process of discernment and planning for congregations)
- Why Believe? This is the apologetics group of the church. They are committed to helping people share their faith confidently and naturally.
- Invisible Church. This piece of in-depth research explores the reasons behind so many committed people leaving our churches, and poses challenging questions. The team is happy to consider requests to produce tailored responses to the needs of congregations and presbyteries
Download the Church Without Walls Report
To find out more contact: Lesley Hamilton-Messer, Church Without Walls Team Leader
Call 0131 225 5722 or email MANDD@churchofscotland.org.uk