I was privileged to join Dave Male and many pioneer ministers at Ridley Hall recently, for a stimulating conference about Pioneer Ministry.
If nothing else, do have a think about your team of leaders in Messy Church: it may be that you are growing some people for whom lay or ordained pioneer ministry might be the next step.
I was struck by many thoughts on the conference, one of which was Bishop Graham Cray adding some warnings about potential dangers of Fresh Expressions, including the dangers of ‘cloning’.
The image of church as a body has been used before (um, can’t think where) by better persons than me, and it’s interesting to reflect whether we’re just cloning Messy Churches like Dolly-the-Sheeps, with exactly the same genetic make-up each time, or whether we are being brave enough to keep the essential DNA of mess, but stir different genes into the mixture to strengthen it against disease and to give it the best chance of longevity. What might those genes be? I guess it comes down to different local situations: local needs, demographics, giftings God’s given the local church, perhaps even how much we’re prepared to see visions and dream dreams.
And one other observation from the conference was how much Messy Church has become mainstream already. We need to watch it, or we’ll be establishment before we know it. Eeek.