Modern Missional Communities; Taster Event
A forthcoming meeting in Inverness offers an invitation and opportunity to meet with one of the pioneers in the UK of the many new expressions of the church – as the body of Christ meeting together.
A recent article explored the development and growth of Christians gathering as ‘church’ but in alternative settings. Alongside the traditional (Sunday-morning/church-building/clergy-led) models that have been the custom over the years,an increasing number of disciples of Jesus are working out alternative models for the biblical activities of fellowship, pastoral care, teaching, prayer and outreach. There are now – in the Highlands no less – churches (in the biblical sense of ‘believers together’) holding their main meetings in a variety of ways and on days (including Sundays) during the period of a 7-day week.
In common with everything else in our internet age, these things are finding expression on web pages, blogs, on-line videos and in other forms of electronic media; with the information-exchange and learning process taking place on an international level.
At the forefront of some of these develops in the UK is Peter Farmer. On his ‘Pioneering Change’ website he has written:
“Something is happening in the UK and around the world! Simple, organic, missional churches are springing up as more and more people choose to meet in small Jesus-centred communities. It is becoming one of the fastest growing movements in parts of the third world! One network in India saw 300,000 people baptized in a single day! (Pentecost 2010)."
Scottish Highland Scene
At a more local level Guy and Jocelyn Pembroke who have returned to the Highlands following 15 years of missionary endeavours in Dublin and Peru are again working out their calling in Inverness. Guy has written of the changes:
"We returned to Inverness, a city still beside the River Ness but different in so many other ways. Of course, we too had changed. As we sought to serve here, people often would say “I’m not religious” and generally they were not interesting in 'going to church'".
Concerning the basic questions and challenges of reaching out with the good news of Jesus to a changing world with changing cultures he continues:
“We recognised that we could not use the same approach that we had used in the 1980’s in Inverness, nor the approach we had adopted in Peru. For us, tweaking old ways of doing things didn’t seem to be sufficient.”
Guy and Jocelyn who now meet as a church with other Christians in their home (cf Acts 2:46; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col 4:15; Phm 1:2) have invited Peter Farmer to Inverness for an afternoon and evening during which they will explore these issues. Guy has written:
“We're delighted to be looking forward to the visit of Peter Farmer of Missionbritain.com and simplechurch.co.uk. Peter has been an enormous encouragement to us when we have visited him and some of the Christians in Nottingham. "We'd love to see this event as a means of making contact with others who, like us, are focussed on Jesus and His good news, and are exploring new expressions of church in the Highlands.”
The details for the afternoon and evening with Peter Farmer is as follows:
Taster Event: Simple Church / Missional Community
8th September, 2012
24 Scorguie Road, Inverness IV3 8QP
3.00pm, with a break later for a meal; and then continuing into the evening.
It would be helpful to know if you are coming. Tel. Guy on 0772 499 2790