Thursday, April 15, 2010

fresh expressions regenerate discussion

re-generate is a series of pub conversations, begun in the creative mind of Craig Mitchell, providing an interactive space around the meal table for those wanting to be involved in being church that is thriving and connected to the culture. (I’ve been the speaker at a couple here in Adelaide, then hosted another with Jonny Baker in March).

There was another on Monday night, not with a speaker, but an open invitation to any Adelaide locals who have begun to create or lead a fresh expression, those who have an urge to do so, and those who have an interest in this movement to come and share their experiences and dreams.

About 20 people gathered. Over food we shared what had drawn us to the table. As the night evolved it seemed there were two groups of people: those looking for ideas or stimulus for their life of their congregation; and those already engaged who want to wrestle with issues like funding, sustainability, the journey to faith, developing leaders, etc.

The upshot was enthusiasm to begin a series of regular pub conversations based around participant questions (people add their questions to a bowl from which we could draw a topic for the following gathering – wonder who suggested that idea :)).

The next one is planned for early June (details coming) and will focus on two issues
– how to fund a fresh expression
– how to sustain a fresh expression

The hope is that it’s not just Uniting church and perhaps the fact that it’s question based from those who gather will help to include other denominations.

It was an exciting night to be part of!

Posted by steve at 02:41 PM


  1. Hi Steve,
    I like your ideas re facilitation … its good idea to be able to break into groups to discuss the aspects which interest us the most. Do you know if there is a reason why “fresh expressions” is the preferred term over “emerging church” as a descriptive phrase? I swear I hear fresh expressions and think of toilet spray. But whatever we call it, its a good discussion to be having across different denominations, and there’s a great energy generated by gathering in a pub too!

    Comment by Michelle — April 15, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  2. Haha, toilet spray! Didn’t expect that 🙂
    I totally agree re especially with your line that there is a great energy generated by gathering in a pub. But heck, it doesn’t stop there. Consider a small group of mates who meet up to watch the rugby. Or the guys who meet up for monthly Texas Hold’Em (can’t imagine who…). Or even taking a trip down to a coffee place like Zeroes or Coffee Culture. Zeroes (at the base of Hackthorne Road) particularly gets pretty crowded – at 9pm! I’m sure if I thought about it hard enough, there are a plethora of examples I could write, but these are all examples of one thing – where the people are at. Whether you call it Fresh Expressions or Emerging Church (or whatever), going out to where people actually catch up is, to me, far more meaningful than getting cooped up within four dry walls (I’m being somewhat satirical but there are many churches who operated like that).
    In fact, I’ve entertained the notion of hosting a home group AT Zeroes. Would love to hear thoughts 🙂

    Comment by Ryan — April 16, 2010 @ 5:43 am

  3. Hi Steve,
    I think where my little project is at it would be worth me flying over for a beer!! I’ll stay tuned for details and may just turn up at the pub!!

    Rob H

    Comment by Rob Hanks — April 16, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  4. PS What about Context.ual Kiwi for your blog name

    Comment by Rob Hanks — April 16, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

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