Society and culture has changed - and the church needs to respond.
Ordinary people now live very different lives than the ones our grandparents did. Our working week is different, and we live further apart from our families. On top of this, the arrival of the digital world has transformed the way we meet, how we live, and how we form relationships.
Given all these changes, it shouldn’t surprise us that our inherited pattern of church is also having to adapt - just like it always has.
Fresh expressions of Christian community and mission
We have spent the last 10 years exploring new expressions of church in Poole that make sense of people’s lives in the 21st Century. We call it Missional Community - a model of church that is rooted in doing life missionally, together, out in our communities where God is already at work.
Instead of taking the Sunday service as our starting point, we start where people already are; creating spaces and contexts for people to connect who have no church background or who would never choose to step inside a church building.
We see a hope and a future for the church in the practice of missional community. We believe that any Christian leader, in any setting, can benefit from adopting the practices and principles we have learnt over the last 10 years.
1. A group of people bound by love, sharing in Christ’s mission for the world.
2. A community characterised by the distinct practices of missional community
Church is missional community. Take away the church building, and what are we? A group of people bound by love, sharing in Christ’s mission for the world. That’s a missional community.
But whilst most expressions of church meet this first definition - we believe there are a distinct set of practices that characterise missional communities - and our mission is to cultivate and share these with the wider church.
Developing a mixed ecology of church
The church has always been diverse. It has always been a mixed ecology. But with the rapid diversifying of society this is needed more than ever. The Covid-19 pandemic saw churches unable to use their buildings and respond with a huge outpouring of creativity, alongside the many challenges and difficulties. In a sense, every church is now having to act like a “fresh expression” - the mixed ecology of church is here to stay.
If you're interested in exploring pioneer ministry, or understanding how missional community practices can be applied in your church setting, take a look at our resources page for inspiration and practical tools.