Friday, 11 January 2013

The Future of Newfrontiers in the UK

Terry Virgo did a very good job of explaining what was happening within Newfrontiers in this blog series here

The Future of Newfrontiers

And as Andrew Wilson expresses well, it is really important to counter the myths and explain that Newfrontiers is not breaking up

Yet there are big challenges ahead.  The challenges I forsee are numerous, and four of specific concern to me are:

1) What about Churches who don't feel they "fit" into the new teams being developed?  As in, if your primary relationships were with people who are no longer in a driving seat, how do you transition?

2) What happens when there is missional / theological divergence amongst teams?

3) How does a family co-ordinate its independent lives?  What bits do we still do together?

4) What does it mean for some of the massive Churches who may feel they have lots of gifts within themselves and are therefore less reliant on external relationships?

This whole process is going to require a lot of prayer, a lot of grace and a lot of humility from people as they seek to find where they fit into the future.

11 comments:

DaveW said...

Actually the post from Andrew Wilson is totally unconvincing.

Instead it makes it look as if the break up happened long ago and this is simply recognising the reality.

The telling bits are where he says that people in the Churches have no idea about this, about the structures, about what Newfrontiers has been.

The attempts to describe this as a family growing up fail. Methodism has a family relationship with the Church of England, the Catholic Church and many others. Yet we are fully separate.

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

"The telling bits are where he says that people in the Churches have no idea about this, about the structures, about what Newfrontiers has been."

To be fair, I doubt the person in your pew knows all that much about the intricacies of Methodist structure.

Bear in mind how many newfrontiers Churches are less than ten years old.

Most people look at the worship, the preaching, the kids work, the sense of God doing something.

I am pretty sure most people in my Chruch would be happy in a Vineyard, or Salt & Light etc

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

"Instead it makes it look as if the break up happened long ago and this is simply recognising the reality."

They've been working on this for quite a while, so people were not starting from blank.

Regional teams have been popping up ever since Stoneleigh ended. Some of these have mushroomed and have been recognised as such.

DaveW said...

BWAHOA,

Talking about the intricacies of Methodism is like comparing apples with tractors.

Andrew is talking of absolute basics of identity not being there.

Also Andrew writes of 5 UK leaders yet the Newfrontiers website lists many more so fragmentation and break up is clearly still happening.

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

Not being funny Dave, but trying to work out what is happening off a website probably explains why you are swinging the wrong end of the stick.

I named the UK leaders in my last post, less Ray Lowe who I think is working alongside Dave Holden but I may have got that wrong.

Pauline said...


Glad to see you are back on The Road to "Elder" Ado, providing us with food for thought, Dave.
The analogy of parents ceasing to host Christmas dinners and the children taking over is very apt. It has happened in our family already!!!
The danger inherent in denominations is that the structure and organisation, which was originally meant to provide proper management and discipline, often becomes remote, unwieldly, subject to corruption and fails to address the concerns of individual members and groups of a church.
This is what is currently happening in the world-wide Anglican communion, and it is very worrying to individual churches, especially those of traditional and evangelical persuasion. Some of us, though feeling called to stay and serve in our own local Anglican church, are wrestling with the implications of some of the decisions made by the General Synod.
There is a lot to be said for the idea that, whilst ensuring we are "grafted in the vine" and children of the same Father, bound by Biblical truth, that we should forge our own destinies, as we prayerfully follow the paths God has prepared for us to walk in.
God Bless you, Esther, Joy and all your family and your church, Dave. Pray it will be a great and fruitful year for Barnabas, Shrewsbury,
Don't leave it TOO long before you provide us with some more food for thought on Road to "Elder" Ado!

DaveW said...

BWAHOA,

"Not being funny Dave, but trying to work out what is happening off a website probably explains why you are swinging the wrong end of the stick.

I named the UK leaders in my last post, less Ray Lowe who I think is working alongside Dave Holden but I may have got that wrong."


Maybe you can explain why you think it is unreasonable to look at NewfrontiersUK.org (which today has started redirecting to newfrontierstogether.org) which lists 16 leaders for the UK to understand newfrontiers?

I also looked at the specific sites for each of the leaders you mentioned (before newfrontiersuk.org and the links to them disappeared). Confusion only increased.

One had a domain but no site, others had just a couple of churches, some had blog posts all about explaining what an apostle was but nothing about worship, service or anyone other than the one apostle.

If this is a master plan for a great way to move forward and be Church in the 21st century then someone has a great sense of humour.

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

New things are starting, new sites are launching.

Go to "show leaders" on newfrontiers international site, and all the UK guys are there.

There is an in between stage where old information is out of date and new information is about to launch.

There is no centralised system.

This is not a seemless rebranding exercise of a corporate body, people will only launch their new sites when they are ready.

I can't imagine why that's a problem for you.

DaveW said...

BWAHOA,

How does

"New things are starting, new sites are launching"

fit with

"They've been working on this for quite a while, so people were not starting from blank."

?

newfrontierstogether.org lists 16 men on the left as UK leaders. It then gives more detail about 7 of them. Andrew Wilson is not mentioned in either but appears to be a leader from the way you quote him and his writing on the thinktheology blog.

The leaders and you admit that people don't know what is happening.

How can this not be a huge problem for Newfrontiers?

Blue, with a hint of amber said...

Dave Devenish
http://catalystnetwork.org

Jeremy Simpkins
http://www.christcentralchurches.org

Mike Betts
http://www.relationalmission.com

Guy Miller (Links to their event, not sure network has its own name yet)
http://www.westpointevent.org.uk

Dave Holden's is a holding page for what I think will be called "New Ground Churches"

The UK website being out of date is part of the unravelling of a small office which helped administrate national events.

Dave Bish said...

Guy Miller and team = Commission. As always these names are more for convenience in being able describe gatherings of leaders and churches than because these are being set up as institutions...