some methodologies for a
This chapter offers some principles for any church seeking to develop a
fresh approach to doing and being church, either as a new initiative, or else
as a new orientation for the sake of mission. Setting down what has worked
in practice, and relating this to our ideas about mission and the Church,
can help in planning and assessing styles and types of church.
There is a flood of books on `new ways of being church'. How `church' is
understood, and what `church' is, are subject to close scrutiny. Within that
framework there is considerable interest in how the Church can be more
missionary, and how to encourage churches that reflect the context and
culture in which they develop.
This report can only outline some key aspects of good practice and mission
methodology. Practitioners and permission givers are strongly advised to
read the recommended books.
By contrast to ten years ago, there
are now tested higher education modules on church planting, some at
postgraduate level, of which some are offered in block weeks to make
them accessible to people in programmes of in service training.
Other useful sources are available, but not in book form. These texts are
available on www.encountersontheedge.org.uk. They include a church
planting good practice guide (written for the Church Army's evangelists
who have this focus to their work), lessons from weak and failed plants and
how to help them (based on the consultancy experience of Anglican Church
and practical steps and insights for those planning
a plant, and for the early life of a plant (also from Anglican Church Planting
This process involves listening to the culture where a church might be
established, and to the inherited tradition of the gospel and the church.