Pioneering and Fresh Expressions of Church

A Path

We celebrate the fact that the Congregational Federation recognises as an accredited ministry the ministry of pioneering fresh expressions of being church in today’s society. As one expression of our commitment to this ministry, we recently set up a working group to explore possible ways forward for our churches and the CF to take in this exciting area of mission and ministry.

How can we blend new ways of being church with existing models of church, creating a mixed economy of Christian communities seeking to be effective witnesses to Jesus among people who find no attraction in religion and churches? Café churches? Forest churches? Biker Churches? Dinner Churches? Other ways of creating church and Christian nurture and fellowship for reaching out to people in their own communities and sub-communities?

For the past year, we on the training course have been preparing to introduce a brand-new module on pioneering ministry to our training course, and we will be offering it as from this coming September. If you are at all interested in how we can explore new ways of being church in our society then this could be for you. And … you can take the module without having to join the course itself.

The awful experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has focused the minds and hearts of many of us on finding ways to connect meaningfully with those who might well be attracted to learning about Jesus but who would not consider ‘going to church’. But the need to communicate effectively with people about Jesus, and concern about the shrinking number of churches and numbers of people in those churches, predates the current situation by a long way. And we want to be active in discerning the way forward for our churches.

The module, which is a part of the whole commitment to this way forward, will be led by Suzanne Nockels, supported by Walter Riggans, and will involve practical engagement with pioneering initiatives of different kinds as well as creative consideration of the key biblical and theological issues involved.

Perhaps God is calling you to become involved in planting and growing a new Christian community - maybe even a new kind of Christian community? Taking this module could help you to test a call from God, and it will introduce you to others who are also drawn to a pioneering approach to mission and ministry today.

For details, contact Walter Riggans.