FRESH EXPRESSIONS & Colleague who addressed the #Dmin course I taught (Rev. Canon David Male) discusses how “fresh expressions” of church can exist alongside traditional churches.

Commentary by Bob Whitesel,

I took my doctor of ministry students to England to learn from English church leaders who embody a modern spirit of John Wesley. They balance a concern for people’s eternal salvation with people’s need for physical salvation from poverty, crime and lack of opportunity.

One such colleague is Rev. Canon David Male, the Church of England (C of E) director of evangelism and discipleship. Below is a quote he recently gave to the English Guardian newspaper about how innovative “fresh expressions” of the church are coexisting along traditional congregations.

“C of E traditionalists launch fight against worship in ‘takeaway, cinema or barn’” by Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian Newspaper, London, UK, 8/6/21.

“The Rev Canon David Male, the C of E’s director of evangelism and discipleship, said: ‘It is really heartening to see people coming together with a passion and concern for the parish, which is a precious inheritance at the heart of every community in England and the core of the C of E.’

A key part of the church’s strategy was to ‘revitalise the parishes and churches up and down the country,’ he said. ‘Throughout our history there have always been other forms of churches alongside and within [parishes] – from cathedrals and chapels to fresh expressions and church plants, all of these come from and are part of the parishes. We need them all.’

Read more at … https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/06/church-of-england-traditionalists-launch-fight-against-worship-in-takeaway-cinema-or-barn?

CRISES & British public turn to prayer as one in four tune in to religious services. Young people lead resurgence of faith, and Vicar of Dibley tops a poll as the best screen priest to lead nation through the crisis. #UKGuardian

by , The UK Guardian Newspaper, May 5, 2020.

A quarter of adults in the UK have watched or listened to a religious service since the coronavirus lockdown began, and one in 20 have started praying during the crisis, according to a new survey.

The findings of the poll reinforce indications of an increase in the numbers of people turning to faith for succour amid uncertainty and despair.

The Church of England has said that unexpectedly high numbers of people are tuning into online or broadcast services, and 6,000 people phoned a prayer hotline in its first 48 hours of operation. Other faiths have also reported surges in people engaging with online religious activities as places of worship have been closed during the lockdown.

The survey of more than 2,000 people, commissioned by the Christian aid agency Tearfund and carried out last weekend, found that a third of young adults aged between 18 and 34 had watched or listened to an online or broadcast religious service, compared with one in five adults over the age of 55.

One in five of those who have tuned into services in the past few weeks say they have never gone to church.

The most frequent subjects of prayers since the lockdown has been family (53%), friends (34%), thanking God (24%), the person praying (28%), frontline services (27%), someone unwell with Covid-19 (20%), and other countries with Covid-19 (15%).

A separate poll, commissioned by Christian Aid, found that The Vicar of Dibley, the Rev Geraldine Granger, the BBC TV character played by Dawn French, would be the public’s choice of screen priest to lead the UK through the coronavirus crisis. In second place was Sister Evangelina, played by Pam Ferris, from Call the Midwife … with Father Ted Crilly, played by Dermot Morgan, from Father Ted taking third place.

Read more at … https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/03/british-public-turn-to-prayer-as-one-in-four-tune-in-to-religious-services

SECULARISM & Church of England has ‘swallowed political correctness wholesale’, Queen’s former chaplain says, as he converts to Catholicism.

by Izzy Lyons, The UK telegraph Newspaper, 12/22/19.

Dr Gavin Ashenden, who served the Queen from 2008 to 2017, said that the Church is increasingly bowing to the “non-negotiable demands of secular culture” and has remained “astonishingly silent” when it comes to defending Christian values…

He has now chosen to convert to Catholicism because he believes it has the “courage, integrity and conviction to hold the Christian ground”…

“Freedom of speech is slowly being eroded; those who refuse to be ‘politically correct’ risk accusations of thought crime and Christians are being unfairly persecuted,” he wrote in the Mail on Sunday. “And where is the Church of England in this crucial culture war? Is it on the front line? Not that I can see. If anything, it has switched sides.

“This isn’t just a shame, it’s a calamity…

“In each generation, Christianity has a choice: convert its surroundings or be converted by it. Regrettably, I have come to believe that the Church of England has given up on the essentials of the faith at points where it really matters,” he added. 

Read more at … https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/22/church-englandhas-swallowed-political-correctness-wholesale/

SOCIAL MEDIA & Archbishop of Canterbury, warns against ‘alternative facts’ online & launches “social media guidelines” for the church. #GoodModel

by Alex Hern, The London Guardian Newspaper, 7/1/19.

The archbishop of Canterbury has said “there is no such thing as an alternative fact” and called on Christian social media users to engage with an attitude of “truth, kindness and welcome” online.

Speaking at Facebook’s London office to the social network’s European head, Nicola Mendelsohn, Justin Welby expressed his concern at how “savagely social media can be used”.

“Look at any article, and then look at the comments below it and very quickly you find stuff that is just poison,” he said.

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In an effort to counter the problem, the Church of England announced a set of social media guidelines, a first in the organisation’s history, built around the three precepts – truth, kindness and welcome – articulated by the archbishop.

“When you’re talking on social media, put the truth out. There’s no such thing as an alternative fact: there are opinions, and there is truth.

“When you are expressing an opinion, do so with kindness. And be welcoming: don’t throw out stuff, tweet or post things, that is a shut-out. That’s not the point of social media. It is social media.”

The Church will be following the guidelines in its postings on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere. Welby said: “We don’t want people to lie, to act with cruelty, or to use religious jargon in a way that ontologically results in some epistemological confusion – to use some religious jargon… it’s the golden rule that Jesus Christ talks about: treat others as you would like to be treated.”

A livestream was broadcast to an online audience of 300, a small group compared with the larger crowds who tuned in to watch the archbishop leading bible studies when Facebook Live was a newer platform. The select audience may have missed Welby apparently coming down on the side of reform of Britain’s upper chamber of parliament, when he said that, sitting in the House of Lords, “you just think: why am I here?”

Read more here … https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/01/church-of-england-publishes-social-media-guidelines

Here are the guidelines:

Our community guidelines have been created to encourage conversations that reflect our values. They apply to all content posted on the national social media accounts run by the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York.

Social media is a very public way of enabling us as Christians to live out our calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ. One of its many joys is that it is immediate, interactive, conversational and open-ended. This opportunity comes with a number of downsides if users do not apply the same common sense, kindness and sound judgement that we would use in a face-to-face encounter.

While written specifically for all users who engage with the Church of England’s and Archbishops’ national social media channels, these guidelines are built on universal principles. They are a resource for Christians, people of other faiths and people of no faith. Dioceses and local churches across the Church of England are welcome and encouraged to adopt them.

By engaging with the Church of England and Archbishops’ social media accounts, you agree to:

  • Be safe. The safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults must be maintained. If you have any concerns, ask a diocesan safeguarding adviser.
  • Be respectful. Do not post or share content that is sexually explicit, inflammatory, hateful, abusive, threatening or otherwise disrespectful.
  • Be kind. Treat others how you would wish to be treated and assume the best in people. If you have a criticism or critique to make, consider not just whether you would say it in person, but the tone you would use.
  • Be honest. Don’t mislead people about who you are.
  • Take responsibility. You are accountable for the things you do, say and write. Text and images shared can be public and permanent, even with privacy settings in place. If you’re not sure, don’t post it.
  • Be a good ambassador. Personal and professional life can easily become blurred online so think before you post.
  • Disagree well. Some conversations can be places of robust disagreement and it’s important we apply our values in the way we express them.
  • Credit others. Acknowledge the work of others. Respect copyright and always credit where it is due. Be careful not to release sensitive or confidential information and always question the source of any content you are considering amplifying.
  • Follow the rules. Abide by the terms and conditions of the various social media platforms themselves. If you see a comment that you believe breaks their policies, then please report it to the respective company.

How will we respond to people who breach our social media community guidelines?

The Church’s and Archbishops’ Communications teams may take action if they receive complaints or spot inappropriate, unsuitable or offensive material posted to the national social media accounts. This may include deleting comments, blocking users or reporting comments as appropriate.

Who do I speak to for further advice?

If you have a safeguarding concern, please follow the policies and procedures on this page or use this contact form.

 

Read the guidelines here … churchofengland.org/guidelines

ENGLAND & Churches Outnumber Pubs in the UK

This is effectively the principle first enunciated by Donald McGavran, the church growth guru, who said, “People like to stay with their own people,” the so-called homogeneous unit principle.”

by Peter Brierley, Christianity Today, 5/31/19.

Every village in the United Kingdom used to have a pub, a church, and a general store. Today, pubs (short for “public houses”) have become iconic, a popular destination for visitors to try drinks, traditional pub meals, and the cultural ambiance.

But these local landmarks are closing quickly; only 39,000 are left in England, down a quarter from 20 or so years ago. There are now more church buildings than pubs, according to recent figures announced last month by the National Churches Trust.

But the number of churches overall is falling too, just not as fast. The share of Christians in the UK is declining, as in America and other parts of the Western world. Total secularization isn’t inevitably around the corner for at least two reasons. First, surveys show that many who say they have “no religion” still believe in God, pray, say they have a soul, or even read the Bible. Second, there is actually substantial growth among certain types of churches in the UK, all in the context of God’s promise to build his church.

2017 p.1 WHITESEL WESLEY LAND & LEADERSHIP TOUR

The three biggest UK denominations—Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Presbyterians—are all declining quite quickly. Overall, their numbers have gone down 16 percent in just the last five years, Presbyterians the fastest (down 19%). Two other major groups are also declining, Baptists and Methodists, but they are much smaller in size.

The three major denominations form 60 percent of church members, and the smaller two another 16 percent. The remaining members often belong to the types of churches that are seeing the most growth right now—many of which have a Pentecostal bent, ranging from immigrant-founded denominations to Hillsong campuses.

Their increase, although significant, is unfortunately not enough to compensate for the drop among the bigger churches, but has moderated the overall decline. I’ll share below which kinds of churches are growing the fastest amid demographic shifts in the UK.

Immigrant churches, black majority churches, and reverse mission churches

London is the epicenter for growing churches. Between 2005 and 2012, overall church attendance (not membership) in London went from 620,000 people to 720,000, a 16 percent increase. The number of churches increased by two a week, from 4,100 to 4,800. During this time, the city welcomed immigrants both from Europe and the rest of the world, its population growing from 7 million to 8 million in 10 years.

Many of those newcomers were Christians and sought a church that spoke their language. More than 50 different languages are spoken in London’s churches; 14 percent of all the services held in the city are not in English.

The trend has since spread into other major urban areas, where churches draw in fellow believers who share the same language, outlook, culture, and so on. This is effectively the principle first enunciated by Donald McGavran, the church growth guru, who said, “People like to stay with their own people,” the so-called homogeneous unit principle.

Many of these churches conducting worship in other languages are Roman Catholic. Others are “black” churches, also called Black Majority Churches (BMCs). They too are immigrants but have been in the UK for much longer, often now in their third or fourth generation.

They first came as part of the Windrush generation, named for the ship that berthed in 1948 with many from the West Indies (the Caribbean). Rejected initially by the native white churches, they formed their own groups, like the New Testament Church of God, Elim Pentecostal Church, Apostolic Church, Assemblies of God, and others.

Read more at … https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/may/churches-outnumber-pubs-in-uk-london-attendance-pentecostal.html

MULTI-VENUE & Ch. of England Allows Sunday Services to Move to Other Times During the Week

by BBC News, 2/22/19

…. Decades of falling church attendances have left some priests looking after up to 20 rural churches. Previously, a rural priest would need to apply for permission from a bishop to not hold a Sunday service in each church.

The Bishop of Willesden – the Right Reverend Pete Broadbent – chairs the Simplification Task Force formed in 2014 to improve the process of the Church of England. He said changing the law reflected the current practice of priests who look after multiple churches. Following the vote, he said: “You’re meant to get a dispensation from the bishop – this just changes the rules to make it easier for people to do what they’re already doing. It stops the bureaucracy.

“This was just one (amendment) where we said, ‘Out of date, doesn’t work, we’re operating differently in the countryside now, therefore let’s find a way of making it work.'”

When asked if the decision would affect elderly churchgoers in rural locations, who might have to travel further to attend a service, Rev Broadbent said: “No, because at the moment this is already regularised and it’s already happening.”

The Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, said although it was “wonderful” to have “that one day where everyone can concentrate”, the Church had to be realistic about people’s day to day lives.

“Times are changing – it is not just about a shortage of clergy but also the fact that people work on a Sunday,” she said. “There is no use in crying over spilt milk. We need to find creative ways to worship.”

She added that at her churches “Thursday is the new Sunday”.

Read more at … https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47326993

UK ORGANIC CHURCHES & Church of England to create 100 new churches … plan focused on ‘places of greatest need’ and includes cafe model. #Wesley.tours

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I’ve enjoyed taking friends and students to England to see how the church is being revived in “organic and need meeting ways” in the homeland of Wesley. Below is an article from the English The Guardian Newspaper about the organic strategies being embraced by the Church of England. While taking my Doctor of Ministry students to England we met with many of the leaders of the “Fresh Expressions” movement of renewal and revival in the Church of England. Check out http://www.Wesley Tours.com or http://www.Wesley.tours for information about upcoming British experiences.

 

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C of E to create 100 new churches as number of Anglicans hits new low

by Harriet Sherwood, Guardian Newspaper, 7/11/18.

Despite forecasts that church attendances will continue to fall for years to come, Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, insisted churches across the country were “bursting with life”.

The new churches would be in “the places of greatest need in our society”, he added.

“These projects are wonderful examples of how churches are seeking to be faithful to God – and faithful to their communities in love and mission. Through their innovation, they signal a growing determination in the church to share the good news of Jesus Christ in ways that make sense for those in our most deprived communities.”

Among the recipients of grants will be nine new churches modelled on Ignite, a café-style church in Margate, Kent. It was founded 10 years ago to work with marginalised and deprived communities.

Three of the new churches will be in coastal towns: St Peter Port, Guernsey; Herne Bay, Kent; and Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey.

Another three churches will be created on housing estates on the edge of Plymouth, and a further nine in market towns in eastern England. In Swindon, a former railway works building will be converted into a church aimed primarily at people aged under 40.

Up to 50 new churches will be established in the diocese of Leicester and 16 in the diocese of Manchester.

The C of E’s “renewal and reform” programme, aimed at modernisation and growth, includes diverting funds away from struggling rural parishes to new evangelical churches in towns and cities.

The programme has been championed by the archbishops of Canterbury and York and senior church officials. But some critics say the new priorities risk alienating the C of E’s traditional backbone.

Read more at … https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/11/c-of-e-to-create-100-new-churches-as-number-of-anglicans-hits-new-low

MILLENNIALS & 3-fold increase in young people on Church of England ministry-discernment placements

by Anglican Communion News Service, 5/1/18.

(Photo; Twenty-four-year-old Lauren Simpson, is exploring a call to ministry while undertaking a year-long placement at Bestwood Park Church in the north of Nottingham as part of the Church of England’s Ministry Experience Scheme.)

A record number of people are taking part in a Church of England scheme which provides a practical year in a parish to young people considering a call to ministry. The Ministry Experience Scheme is a nationwide initiative which developed from ad-hoc programmes run by individual parishes and dioceses. It offers young people, aged between 18 and 30, the opportunity to spend a year working in a parish alongside a vicar in what some have dubbed “apprentice vicar” posts.

In 2005, 47 young people took part in placements. This year, that figure has risen to 150. More than two thirds of dioceses in the Church of England are now taking part in the Ministry Experience Scheme.

“Young adults on the scheme are encouraged to explore their vocation – not just to ordained ministry – living and working in communities in both urban and rural areas,” the C of E said in a statement. “The placements offer theological teaching and skills training whilst immersing the participants within a local parish. Each scheme is unique to its community, giving the participants the opportunity to support their local communities through charitable, pastoral and community-based activities.”

 

… The scheme is becoming a key component of the Church of England’s drive, through the Renewal and Reform programme, to attract more young people and more women and people from ethnic minorities into both lay and ordained roles.

One current participant, 24-year-old Lauren Simpson, is undertaking a placement at Bestwood Park Church in the north of Nottingham. She is helping to run Messy church events, a fortnightly youth group, a youth worship band and other projects including a weekly lunch in the church hall.

“I am just over half-way through my placement, and I am being stretched and challenged more than ever before,” she said. “I have really been welcomed by the community, and I have had a chance to do a lot both inside and outside the church.

“This experience has given me an insight into the church in a way that otherwise would have not been possible.”

The Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, chairs the Scheme’s steering committee. He said: “I thank God for the success of the Ministry Experience Scheme and for the young adults across the country who are devoting a year of their lives to the service of others, including the work of parishes in both urban and rural areas, helping to witness to the Good News of the Gospel…

Read more at … http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2018/05/three-fold-increase-in-young-people-on-church-of-england-ministry-discernment-placements.aspx

CONVERSION & Spiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England

A review by Christina Marie Devlin of  D. Bruce Hindmarsh, The Evangelical Conversion Narrative: Spiritual Autobiography in Early Modern England. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. xiv+384 pp. $110.00 (cloth) in The Journal of Religion 87, no. 2 (April 2007): 277-278. https://doi.org/10.1086/513217

Read more at …  http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/513217

TERRORISM & People of faith should show “extreme confidence” in God after terror attacks

As Rowan Williams once put it: “For the person who resorts to random killing in order to promote the honour of God, it is clear that God is not to be trusted. God is too weak to look after his own honour and we are the strong ones who must step in to help him. Such is the underlying blasphemy at work.” – Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury (2002-2012)

“Archbishop in terror faith plea,” BBC News, 7/9/06, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5162028.stm

#DMin

CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT & Why the UK movement gains as Church of England sputters

by Trevor Grundy, March 29, 2016, Religion News Service.

CANTERBURY, England (RNS) Church closings are nothing new in this country.

In the past six years, 168 Church of England churches have closed, along with 500 Methodist and 100 Roman Catholic churches.

“Christianity in Britain has seen a relentless decline for over 100 years,” says Linda Woodhead, a sociologist at Lancaster University.

Visitors to Britain are often shocked when they see the state of some of this nation’s once-proud church buildings.

But for every Anglican church that has closed over the past six years, more than three Pentecostal or charismatic churches have taken their place, according to an analysis by The Times of London.

These Pentecostal and charismatic churches are drawing young, black, Asian and mixed-race people.

Hillsong Church London holds four services, attended by 8,000 people, every Sunday at the Dominion Theatre. Photo courtesy of Hillsong Church L

Pentecostalism is one of the fastest-growing movements in world Christendom, with an estimated 500 million followers.

“A century ago the face of European Christianity could have been labeled as white, but now it is increasingly becoming multicolored,” said Israel Olofinjana, a Nigerian-born minister in London told the Times.

While aging Church of England congregations decline, charismatic churches thrive.

Hillsong Church London holds four services, attended by 8,000 people, every Sunday at the Dominion Theatre.

“It feels like God’s nightclub, with love songs to Jesus,” said one young African after attending an evening service.

Christians from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, where Catholic roots run deep, are among the participants. And their enthusiasm is contagious.

“There’s been a seismic shift,” said Robert Beckford, a professor of theology at Canterbury Christ Church University. “Christianity in Britain has become much more ethnically diverse as a result of migration from West Africa, Eastern Europe and, to a degree, Latin America.”

Elizabeth Oldfield, director at Theos, one of England’s leading think tanks, told The Times: “Church structures have to take immigration much more seriously. They’re having to listen to people on the ground that are joining the churches in quite large numbers, speaking a different language, perhaps coming from different forms of worship and working to bring change. It is shaking the church up.”

The Pentecostal growth is bringing renewed hope to many.

“I am optimistic that we will see this nation come back to God,” said Pastor Agu Irukwu of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The group, founded in Nigeria, now has 600 congregations across England.

(Trevor Grundy is an RNS correspondent based in Canterbury, England)

Read more at … http://www.religionnews.com/2016/03/29/charismatic-movement-gains-church-england-sputters/

ATTENDANCE & Church of England decline heralds calls for innovative use of church buildings #TheUKGuardianNewspaper

by Esther Addley, The Guardian Newspaper, 6/8/15.

According to the annual British Social Attitudes survey, in just two years between 2012 and 2014, the number of people describing their beliefs as being Church of England or Anglican fell from 21% to 17%, a loss of 1.7 million people – leading the former archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, to repeat warnings that the church is “a generation away from extinction”.

Britain is not necessarily becoming more godless – in the same period, the number of Muslims grew by a million, amounting to 2.4% of the population – just less the proportion of Anglicans. That has implications enough for the church in the inner city, but what are the ramifications in the countryside where, for a thousand years, the Church of England has often been the institution that holds rural communities together?..

Read more at … http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/07/church-of-england-decline-heralds-calls-for-innovative-use-of-church-buildings

ANGLICANISM & What is Anglicanism? J.I. Packer & #ScotMcKnight Speak

by: Scot McKnight, 5/23/15.

Recently Michael Jensen, at TGC’s site, had a post about the nature of Anglicanism that focused quite rigorously on a conservative version of Reformed soteriology, and you can read his emphases at the link. I countered a bit by suggesting it was creedal to the core. But now another heavyweight, J.I. Packer, has weighed in on the nature of Anglicanism. And their perspectives, while they might agree on lots and lots theologically, reveal that Anglicanism can be approached from a number of angles. I have put in bold the operative emphases of Packer…

Read more at … http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/03/23/what-is-anglicanism-j-i-packer-speaks/

SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & UK Archbishop Welby says “The best decision anyone can ever make is to be a follower of Jesus Christ”

Revolutionary love: Archbishop Justin’s lecture on evangelism.

A transcript and an introduction, 3/5/15.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has set out his vision for a Church in which every Christian shares “the revolutionary love” of Jesus Christ.

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“The best decision anyone can ever make is to be a follower of Jesus Christ.” Archbishop Justin Welby, Lambeth Palace, 5 March 2015. (Photo: Lambeth Palace)

The Archbishop was giving the inaugural Lambeth Lecture, a new series of talks which will feature guest speakers addressing key issues for the Church.

Video of the Archbishop’s lecture will be available shortly. The full text follows below.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth Lecture:

I want to start by saying just two simple sentences about the church. First, the church exists to worship God in Jesus Christ.

Second, the Church exists to make new disciples of Jesus Christ. Everything else is decoration. Some of it may be very necessary, useful, or wonderful decoration – but it’s decoration.

When I talk about making disciples as we go through, of course I’m not only talking about words; I’m also talking about actions, and we’ll come back to that in a little while.

The best decision anyone can ever make, at any point in life, in any circumstances, whoever they are, wherever they are, whatever they are, is to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. There is no better decision for a human being in this life, any human being…

Read more at … http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5515/revolutionary-love-archbishop-justins-lecture-on-evangelism

SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & Archbishop Welby: “The best decision anyone can ever make is to be a follower of Jesus Christ”

By Adrian Hilton, 3/6/15.

In January, Tim Montgomerie, writing in the Times, vented his frustration with the Archbishop of Canterbury:

I remain hopeful that Justin Welby, a “graduate” of HTB and its famous Alpha course, might oversee a renewal of the whole Church of England but I’m increasingly worried about his early focus… We’ve heard his views on banking reform, Wonga, food banks, energy companies and welfare reform but where is his big intervention on the miraculous nature of Jesus Christ?

… The thing is, if you spend time listening to Justin Welby, he just can’t help himself. No matter what the topic of conversation, he will quite naturally bring Jesus into it sooner or later. This is a man genuinely obsessed with his faith to the point of overflowing. Anyone who thinks he doesn’t talk about it enough either hasn’t heard him speak at any great length or has only observed him through the media, which loves to pick up on any of his comments that might be perceived as bashing Wonga/bankers/Ian Duncan Smith whilst generally losing interest once God gets a mention.

It really shouldn’t be a surprise that, on becoming Archbishop of Canterbury two years ago, he announced his three priorities as:

  • Prayer and the renewal of the religious life.
  • Reconciliation
  • Evangelism and witness…

Read more at … http://archbishopcranmer.com/welby-the-best-decision-anyone-can-ever-make-is-to-be-a-follower-of-jesus-christ/

MANAGEMENT & Renowned theologian Archbishop of Canterbury sends bishops to business school for more education #WesleySem

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “About 10 years ago the current president of Indiana Wesleyan University, Dr. David Wright, asked me to put together a book in which business school professors would adapt their subject matter for church leaders. I recruited some of the best professors teaching in our IWU MBA program and asked them, ‘Write a chapter about what church leaders need to know about your subject.’ The result was two books. The Church Leaders’ MBA: What business professors wish church leaders knew about management was published by Ohio Christian University Press. And, Foundations of Church Administration was published by Beacon Hill publishers. Read this article about how in England the Archbishop of Canterbury also realizes that pastors are weak in management and is now encouraging them to take similar training. It should be no surprise that the first course chosen by Dr. Wright for our IWU Masters of Arts in (Ministry) Leadership was nonprofit management.”

Business school bishops,
by C. S-W, The Economist Magazine, Jan 21st 2015,

The Church of England encourages its clergy to get some management education

JUSTIN WELBY (pictured), the Archbishop of Canterbury, is a renowned theologian. But the head of the Church of England is not your ordinary church chief; he has brought extraordinary changes to the way his clergy manage their worshippers. At first glance, the archbishop’s curriculum vitae might appear to focus more on things pecuniary than pious. He spent over a decade working in the oil industry, half at the executive level. Though Mr Welby does not hold an MBA, he believes that there are benefits to bringing boardroom practices into religion, and as such supports a proposal to send 36 bishops and deans on a mini-MBA course run by INSEAD, that will begin in April…

Sending bishops to business school will kickstart a ‘culture change for the leadership of the church,’ the report says.

Read more at … http://www.economist.com/whichmba/business-school-bishops

ANGLICANISM & One More Thing about Anglicanism #ScotMcKnight

by Scot McKnight, 1/19/15.

Michael Jensen, at The Gospel Coalition, briefly sketched nine things he wants people to know about the Anglican Church. I have clipped only his bold-faced points and you can read his short explanations at the link above but then I want to add one more point, something he did not mention that puts it all into a slightly different — broader — context and one I’m sure he’d affirm:

1. Since the arrival of Christianity in Britain in the 3rd century, British Christianity has had a distinct flavor and independence of spirit, and was frequently in tension with Roman Catholicism.

2. The break with Rome in the 16th century had political causes, but also saw the emergence of an evangelical theology.

3. Anglicanism is Reformed.

4. Scripture is the supreme authority in Anglicanism.

5. Justification by faith alone is at the heart of Anglican soteriology.

6. In Anglican thought, the sacraments are “effectual signs” received by faith.

7. The Anglican liturgy—best encapsulated in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer—is designed to soak the congregation in the Scriptures, and to remind them of the priority of grace in the Christian life.

8. Anglicanism is a missionary faith, and has sponsored global missions since the 18th century.

9. Global Anglicanism is more African and Asian than it is English and American.

This listing by Jensen seeks to assure folks that Anglicanism is kosher for conservative evangelicals, which it can be and should be (and sometimes quite frankly isn’t) and is not restricted to them, but I’d like to go behind these to what is even more primary …

– See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/01/19/one-more-thing-about-anglicanism/#sthash.RHSSNUNk.dpuf

RENEWAL & “Fresh Expressions” of Church in the UK via @EdStetzer

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “After reading this well-written article by Ed Stetzer, learn more about the beginnings of this ‘fresh expression movement’ in the chapter on St. Thomas’ Church in Ryan Bolger’s book ‘Gospel after Christendom‘.”

“Fresh Expressions” of Church in the United Kingdom by Ed Stetzer

Christianity in the United Kingdom is not dead. In fact, it may have new life in “Fresh Expressions of Church.”

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Recently, there has been talk of the identity of the United Kingdom as a Christian nation. Prime Minister David Cameron first made mention of it a couple of weeks ago, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, agreed.

Faith expression in the U.K. is certainly in flux. Part of that is a decline, but part of that is reconfiguration. That’s where this research comes in.

Below is a summary of a study on “fresh expressions” (yes, that’s a thing) in the United Kingdom.

You can download the full report here.

Between January 2012 and October 2013,the Church of England’s Church Army‘s Research Unit studied over 1000 cases of church planting and church growth from 10 dioceses of the Church of England. They looked at data from 1992 – 2012. Of the 1000 cases studied, 518 met criteria necessary to be labeled as what they call a “Fresh Expression of Church.”

Read more at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/may/fresh-expressions-of-church-in-united-kingdom.html