Most of you will have given up looking for any new blog from me since August. All I can say is that I think you needed a respite from my rambles. So what has stirred me to write....
I read an article recently by Graham Cray addressing the issue about failing Fresh Expressions. Sadly words like FE and fail are not often acknowledged in our present church culture. GC makes an observation that I think applies not just to Fresh Expressions but also to Church 'as we know it'.
'Perhaps the key lesson is that fresh expressions are more likely to be fruitful if they grow out of relationships, than if they use an event to establish relationships.'
Effective church communities, whether 'inherited traditon' or Fresh Expression are those who understand this and make the relational and network value central to their life and mission.
Yet somehow many of us still think that what we put on 'in church' will be enough even though our theology is rooted in the one who 'moved into the neighbourhood'. As a parish priest I am only to aware of the expectation from all sides that we must do 'something' to 'bring them in'. Nothing is more effective than relationships and building community - whoever and whatever people are invited to.