mission shaped church
and day as `their church', then this creates a distinction from a pattern
where there are various services on offer, and people choose which they
attend on the basis of the type of service, or how their plans are working
out for that day.
Churches can enhance the sense of identity within their different
congregations by considering some of the following dynamics. The more
these are in place, the stronger and healthier will be the sense that each
congregation is a `church' in itself:
Establish a planned and consistent divergence of worship style for
example an afternoon Taize congregation, or a service for parents and
toddlers, or strongly choir led worship.
Grow a dedicated and recognized leadership for each.
Establish a particular mission focus for the differing congregations.
This might be an age related focus, or geographical responsibility
within a large parish, or by concern for a local social issue.
Provide discrete pastoral care structures for each congregation, which
are known by them.
Deny and refuse all language that calls one of the congregations `the
Create an overall team or group ministry in which each congregation has
One danger of a multiple congregation approach is that it is often heavily
influenced by the worship needs of those who already come. Care must
be taken to adopt a clear missionary approach, and seek to connect with
a community outside the church, instead of simply using a multiple
congregation approach as a way of trying to keep existing church
network focused churches
The word `network' has already peppered previous chapters. Network is a
major social reality. Many people still think and live geographically they
may, for example, relate almost entirely to the village or estate in which
they live. But increasingly people's lives are best described by the networks
to which they relate, rather than simply by the place where they live. Many
connect most closely with people where they work or with whom they are
at leisure (or even at church), rather than with the people who happen to
live nearby. An increasingly mobile society means that the place where