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Mission and Money in Church Planting

Mission and Money in Church Planting was the focus of a webinar on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The presenter, David Fitch led our learning topic on funding models and church planting.

This free webcast is a New and Renew event sponsored by the New Church Advisory Committee of the Church of the Brethren.

David Fitch

David Fitch is the Betty R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary Chicago, IL. He is also the founding pastor of Life on the Vine Christian Community, a missional church in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. He coaches a network of church plants in the C&MA linked to Life on the Vine. He writes on the issues the local church must face in Mission including cultural engagement, leadership and theology and has lectured and presented on these topics at many seminaries, graduate schools, denominational gatherings and conferences. Fitch’s latest books are Faithful Presence and The Church of Us vs. Them.

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Seeding or Launching Congregations:
The First Year Shapes the Church for Decades

David Fitch

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Passionate about church planting? Interested in learning more? Discerning a call or ministry or know someone who is? Are you or your congregation supporting a church planter?

This webinar is for District Executives, district leadership, new church development teams, pastors, church planters, and anyone who is interested in church planting and congregational revitalization.

Author, conference presenter, and church planter, Dr. David Fitch is the B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology at Northern Seminary, Chicago, IL. He writes on the issues the local church faces in mission including cultural engagement, leadership, and theology.

Identify a charismatic leader and launch a public worship service is a common approach in planting churches in North America. While there is much to appreciate about the usual methodology of starting new churches, the webinar addresses implications of the "launching church," and consider other tactics and formations of new church plants. During the webcast, David Fitch guides the exploration of the following topics:

  • The history of church planting in North America
  • Introduction of approaches to church planting
  • Implications of church planting models on leadership, worship, and mission

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The Art of Resilience: Nurturing Practices for Flourishing

In our lives and our local communities (not to mention the wider world) we can quickly be overwhelmed by the scale of the social, economic and environmental changes that face us.

How do we build resilience as individuals and families? How do we develop and nurture resilience in our communities? We will consider how to understand some of the challenges that we face, and what we can do to nurture personal and community resilience and to thrive.

Alex Ellish

After six years of ministry in London’s multicultural east-side, Alexandra (Alex) Ellish moved with her family to join an Urban Expression church-planting team in East London.

Alex is a coordinator with Urban Expression UK and works with the Anabaptist Network and Mennonite Trust as a development worker. Alex’s ministry focuses on engaging younger adults and activists interested in following Jesus in a peace-making tradition and building relationships with organizations committed to non-violence and social justice.

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Webinar Sponsors: Anabaptist Network UK, Bristol Baptist College, Church of the Brethren, Urban Expression UK

The Virtual Self

I took my two sons to the national gaming convention in April 2017. Introduced to the Virtual Reality experience, we learned that within five years, Virtual Reality would be readily available and in our homes. As we create and interact with our online digital presence, what is happening to our identity? Is this new world of online identities enabling us to connect with more people or creating isolation? Can we use this forum as an influence for good or are their other agendas influencing us?

Simon Jay

Simon Jay lives in Birmingham England, and with his wife, Rachel, set up the Haven Community Project. They intentionally moved into the area leading an Urban Expression team working alongside the community.

Simon is a graduate student at Bristol Baptist College, Bristol England. He is involved with various agencies dedicated to foster caregiving.

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What Have the Children Done for Us?

Sara Barron

So often we look at children as those we need to teach. What if we saw that building relationship was mutually beneficial? How would that affect church, life, and community? Can we grow intergenerational communities that enable all to flourish? Jesus said ‘the kingdom belongs to such as these.’ In what ways can we hold space for children in and out of the church to build friendship, community and relationship with God?

Sara Barron is a Baptist minister currently working as an Anglican pioneer in an area of deprivation. She is also the development worker for CURBS, which resources, trains and supports children’s workers in urban and housing development areas.

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Augmented Margins: Living Hopefully in Expanding Times

Juliet Kilpin

The margins of our lives are always changing, sometimes decreasing, often expanding, and frequently causing friction as new normals are navigated. This webinar provides an opportunity to explore how the peace we long for at the borders of nations often starts with finding peace at the borders of our own lives.

Juliet Kilpin a Coordinator with UrbanExpression UK, and Co-Director of Crucible,a training course equipping people to follow Jesus on the margins. She authored the book, Urban to the Core: Motives for Incarnational Mission and co-author of Church Planting in the Inner City - The Urban Expression Story. Juliet is a church planter and advocate of urban mission

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Stuary Murray Williams

The webinar explores the implications of post-Christendom for followers of Jesus. However, this is only one element of the complex culture shift impacting our society. There are many other ‘posts’: post-industrial, postmodern, post-colonial, post-ideological, postsecular, post-structural, post-denominational, etc.

This webinar offers an opportunity to reflect on some of these – what do they mean and what are the implications for discipleship, mission, and church?

Stuart Murray Williams is the author of the books, Post-Christendom and Church after Christendom, and the editor of the After Christendom series. He is Director of the Centre for Anabaptist Studies, Bristol Baptist College. Stuart is a trainer/consultant with the Anabaptist Network and a Coordinator of Urban Expression, UK.

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Urban series

Forming a Christian community in the midst of our struggle for good mental health: Reflections from The Geoff Ashcroft Community

Social isolation and associated mental health problems are likely to become one of the greatest killers in the western world. Isolation is also the enemy of Christian community. What can we do as churches to connect with each other in health ways that lead to the flourishing of church and society?

Phil Warburton

Phil Warburton is part of E1 Community Church in the East End of London and has been part of the leadership team for 17 years. He is actively involved in the local community in a number of partnerships such as with Citizens UK and Ambassadors Football.

When he is not busy with E1, he works with Urban Expression, an agency deploying teams to do missional work in marginalized communities, as a development worker.

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Convening conversations with Muslim women

The webinar explores how we might use ‘conversational spaces’ to convene with those from culturally and socially diverse backgrounds. Some questions we will be exploring include

  • What do we mean by accessibility and how committed are we to ensuring it?
  • Which kind of questions enables the glimpsing of another way of being?
  • Can we hope for Conversation in intentionally conversational spaces to be transformative for all involved?
  • To what extent can we see Conversation as a deeply contextual and radically hospitable approach to mission?

Jan Pike

Jan Pike lived in the Indian sub-continent for over 20 years before finding a home and work in Bristol as an ESOL tutor to mostly Somali women and so has a wide experience of communicating cross-culturally.

Her engagement with women from a range of Muslim countries, now living in inner city Bristol, has led to faith conversations being shared and the eventual development of tools for dialogue where relationships between Christian and Muslim people bring them together to listen and share the Stories from both the Qur’an and the Bible. Through this activity, deep things are shared and new things about the nature of God are revealed.

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The Practical Struggles Faced By Asylum Seekers and How the Christian Community Can Respond

This webinar examines some of the tensions of living with destitute asylum seekers in community. Reflect on theology, particularly about how angry we get immersed in this world and tell stories of courage and chaos untamed and how nonetheless Jesus inhabits our world even when things go wrong.

Rachel Bee

Rachael Bee lives in Easton, Bristol, a multicultural area in a 3 household community with connected gardens. She also runs a small aid organization working with destitute asylum seekers and a small social business providing housing for refugees. In her spare time she loves chatting (to anyone and everyone), playing music and cooking.

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Experiencing Gentrification in the East End of London with Squatters and Anarchists

Increasingly, our world is becoming more urban, with over half of the planet’s population living in urban communities. As a result, our cities are facing the growing problem of gentrification where the influx of affluent people into our neighborhoods displaces poorer residents, thus changing the character of the neighborhood.

In this webinar Rob explores how the process of gentrification has affected marginalized communities and how we might respond.

Rob Schellert

After ten years and three unconventional church plants, Rob Schellert chooses the road less travelled: walking alongside London's radical anarchist and squatter communities.

Rob's experiences and passion for the forgotten, the marginalized and those who have given up on church has resulted in a unique perspective to share with both those inside the church and those whose experiences have kept them far from a church threshold.

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The Heart of Anabaptism series

The 2015-16 webinars organized by the Centre for Anabaptist Studies have explored the 7 core convictions of the UK Anabaptist Network, which summarize the heart of Anabaptism and its contemporary significance. They are also at the heart of the book The Naked Anabaptist.

Seven people from different contexts (the UK, South Africa, Australia and North America) have reflected on these convictions, critiqued them and asked how they work out in practice.

Core Conviction #1: "Jesus is our example, teacher, friend, redeemer and Lord. He is the source of our life, the central reference point for our faith and lifestyle, for our understanding of church and our engagement with society. We are committed to following Jesus as well as worshipping him."

Joshua T Searle

Joshua T. Searle is Tutor in Theology and Public Thought and the Assistant Director of Postgraduate Research at Spurgeon's College. He is married to Varduyi.

A Northumbrian by birth and temperament, he is a graduate of Oxford, Dublin and Prague, and is the author of books and articles on millennial studies and the social theology of evangelical Christians. He also serves as Chair of Mission Eurasia UK and is a visiting professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

Webinar recording

Core Conviction #2: "Jesus is the focal point of God’s revelation. We are committed to a Jesus-centred approach to the Bible, and to the community of faith as the primary context in which we read the Bible and discern and apply its implications for discipleship."

LaDonna Nkosi

Presenter LaDonna Sanders Nkosi led the conversation and reflection on the following questions: What does Jesus as the focal point of God’s revelation mean for us today? What is its practice in everyday life, faith, and community?

A wordsmith, preacher, public poet, consultant, and trainer LaDonna Sanders Nkosi is convening pastor for The Gathering Chicago, a community of prayer and global/local service based in Hyde Park, Chicago that emphasizes gathering communities across cultures and divides serving together, engaging discipleship, and following Jesus. Nkosi is the co-founder of Ubuntu Global Village Foundation which builds bridges and partnerships with communities in the United States, South Africa, and Rwanda and, global host for Ubuntu Global Village Prayer for the Nations. She is a Doctor of Ministry, Wright Scholar at McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago). Nkosi looks to the teachings and ministry of Jesus as recorded in the Bible as a central focus for liberation, justice, and healing of our communities, peoples, and global relations.

Webinar recording

Core Conviction #3: "Western culture is slowly emerging from the Christendom era when church and state jointly presided over a society in which almost all were assumed to be Christian. Whatever its positive contributions on values and institutions, Christendom seriously distorted the gospel, marginalized Jesus and has left the churches ill-equipped for mission in a post-Christendom culture. As we reflect on this, we are committed to learning from the experience and perspectives of movements such as Anabaptism that rejected standard Christendom assumptions and pursued alternative ways of thinking and behaving."

Andrew Suderman

Andrew Suderman, although born in Canada, has spent many years living outside Canada. He spent ten years growing up in Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Colombia, before moving back to Canada where he studied and received degrees in theology and philosophy. He spent several years working with offenders and ex-offenders and as a supervisor of a 54-bed homeless shelter. Since 2009, Andrew and his wife Karen have been serving as Mennonite Church Canada Witness Workers in South Africa. They have been living in Pietermaritzburg, where Andrew has been serving as Director of the Anabaptist Network in South Africa and working on a PhD in Theology.

Webinar recording

Core Conviction #4: "The frequent association of the church with status, wealth and force is inappropriate for followers of Jesus and damages our witness. We are committed to exploring ways of being good news to the poor, powerless and persecuted, aware that such discipleship may attract opposition, resulting in suffering and sometimes ultimately martyrdom."

Juliet Kilpin

Juliet Kilpin helps coordinate Urban Expression, an urban mission agency pioneering creative and relevant forms of church in our inner cities.

An urban mission advocate and activist for almost twenty-five years, Juliet and her husband formed a church with the first Urban Expression team in Tower Hamlets, East London, in 1997.

She is also a freelance consultant and trainer.

Juliet has co-authored Church Planting in the Inner City – the Urban Expression Story and compiled Urban To The Core: motives for incarnational mission.

Webinar recording

Core Conviction #5: "Churches are called to be committed communities of discipleship and mission, places of friendship, mutual accountability and multi-voiced worship. As we eat together, sharing bread and wine, we sustain hope as we seek God’s kingdom together. We are committed to nurturing and developing such churches, in which young and old are valued, leadership is consultative, roles are related to gifts rather than gender and baptism is for believers."

Alexandra Ellish

Alexandra Ellish recently moved with her husband Phil, daughter Gracie (6) and son James (4) to join the Urban Expression team based in Harold Hill, East London. Alex helps to coordinate Urban Expression, and also works with the Mennonite Trust and Anabaptist Network as a development worker. Alex is passionate about community organising, multi-voiced worship, building relationships with people from different backgrounds, feminism and spiritual formation. She loves the Pentatonix, running in the rain and people-watching over a cup of coffee.

Webinar recording

Core Conviction #6: "Spirituality and economics are inter-connected. In an individualist and consumerist culture and a world where economic injustice is rife, we are committed to finding ways of living simply, sharing generously, caring for creation and working for justice."

Joanna Frew

Joanna (Jo) Frew lives and works in a house of hospitality that she and her partner run for destitute asylum seekers.

For many years, she worked with the SPEAK Network on social justice campaigns and is now active in non-violent direct action on the arms fair and Trident renewal.

Jo has a Ph.D. in the history of the British Empire in India.

Webinar recording

Core Conviction #7: "Peace is at the heart of the gospel. As followers of Jesus in a divided and violent world, we are committed to finding non-violent alternatives and to learning how to make peace between individuals, within and among churches, in society and between nations."

Mark and Mary Hurst

Mark and Mary Hurst are pastors of Avalon Baptist Peace Memorial Church and pastoral workers for the Anabaptist Association of Australia and New Zealand (AAANZ).

Together they have led peacemaking workshops and been involved in peace activism since the late 1970’s.

Both are graduates of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary with degrees in Peace Studies (Mark) and Christian Formation.

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Family matters series

Mary Hawes - Cradle to the Grave
The final webinar of the Family Matters series pulls strands together, exploring how family life is woven from a complex blend of celebration, transition and tragedy. It offers models of how the wider church community can help to strengthen and support families when they are fraying at the edges. Finally, it helps participants reflect on the many aspects of family explored during the series and consider what are the challenges facing them in their own situations. Go to the recording

Gail Adcock - Family Ministry
Family ministry has seen an unprecedented rise across the church in the UK in recent years. Increasing numbers of workers and congregations are seeking more holistic ways of working with parents, children and young people. This webinar considers the current shape and formation of family ministry, exploring the various methods taken to engage with families. It also reflects on how this work can be developed and supported in the future with particular reference to how the church may stand alongside families as they face the challenges of today's society. Go to the recording

Jane Butcher - Households of Faith
This webinar explores the question of how might families explore and nurture faith together when they face daily challenges of time, having the family together, changing lifestyle patterns and needs as children get older and others. What does the ‘family context’ mean and what role does the extended church family play? Go to the recording

Martyn Payne - Families in the 'hood
This webinar unpacks some of Martyn's research into Messy Church in challenging rural areas, and offer reflections on ways forward for family ministry in areas of deprivation, be those urban or rural. The session looks at examples of good practice as well as explores some of the significant differences between family ministry in challenging areas as compared to those in more affluent communities, and also looks at the five key values of Messy Church, namely hospitality, creativity, celebration, all age and Christ-centredness. Go to the recording

Howard Worsley - The Family and how the Scriptures are passed to the next generation
The first part of the webinar looks at Biblical and Historical perspectives on family. Then, after looking at the story of the Man Who Planted Trees (as a metaphor of hope) , we will consider current contexts of how families enable children to read the Bible. One of the aims of this webinar is to encourage those who have children in their care to look more carefully at how they interpret meaning from Scripture.Go to the recording

Sian Hancock - Families, Households and Tribes
This initial webinar in the Family Matters series explores what it means to be family; it views family life through a sociological lens to identify what matters to families and why families matter to society; it provides an opportunity to reflect upon the hot issues impacting upon family life and to consider the complexities of engaging with and supporting families in our communities.Go to the recording

Urban mission series

Benjamin Payne - How not to fix people (including yourself)
Many people working and living in poorer communities have recognized the damage caused by projects designed to fix people. In response alternative approaches have developed focusing on drawing alongside people and working together with the local community. This approach comes with some challenges provoking a number of questions: What are we achieving really? What ways enable us to deal with the pain when unable to correct challenging situations? Where is God in these encounters? This webinar explores responses to these challenges before considering how restorative justice principles and practices inform us about the work of drawing alongside others. Go to the recording

Anna Ruddick - Looking for Transformation
This webinar focuses on the life change of people in urban communities, both residents and ministry workers. We will explore understandings of transformation and consider hopes and expectations for ministry in urban communities. The webcast visits stories of transformation arising from Ruddick's research project and consider ministry practices that best enable transformation in the lives of urban people. Go to the recording

Andrew Grinnell - Just Friendship
This webinar touches on the nature of the relationships we seek to build with people in low-income areas and explores how the virtues of justice and hope may be expressed within these relationships. Go to the recording

After Christendom series

Presented by the Center for Anabaptist Studies at Bristol Baptist College in partnership with the Anabaptist Network, the Mennonite Trust and the Church of the Brethren.

Brian Haymes and Kyle Gingerich Hiebert - God after Christendom
Whatever is happening in history, whatever deals are struck between the Church and the state, whether a Christian voice is increasingly heard or marginalized in the arenas of power, God remains God and that is good news. At least it is so long as God remains God and not some being, even a supreme being. God after Christendom revisits the long tradition of Christian speech about God with the conviction that in scripture and in the history of Christian reflection on these matters there are rich resources for faithful discipleship that enable us to confront the contemporary temptations that too often unwittingly re-make God in our own image. Beginning with the biblical witness, the presenters explore some classic Christian affirmations and argue that they remain crucial for reflection on how we speak of God today, and subsequently move on to explore issues of evil and suffering and why faith in the Triune God inexorably leads to worship and peace. Go to the recording

Simon Perry - Atheism after Christendom
Throughout history, Atheism has been marked by a subversion of gods of the state. As such, from classical Greece, Imperial Rome and Medieval Christendom, Atheism was a criminal charge. After the European Reformations (16th Century), Atheism became a term of abuse and after the Enlightenment (18th Century) it became a badge of honor. In the postmodern era (21st Century) Atheism has become a measure of religious orthodoxy. The more domesticated Atheism has become, the more it has lost its subversive element, climaxing today in the endorsement of the very type of state activity it once opposed. Go to the recording

Lloyd Pietersen - Reading the Bible after Christendom
The Bible is regarded as a classic of Western civilization but today is hardly read and its contents are not well known. Christendom used primarily the Old Testament as a foundation for statecraft and marginalized the teachings of Jesus. This webinar will draw from Lloyd’s book with the same title and will explore ways of reading the Bible that take seriously the teaching and example of Jesus. Go to the recording

Andrew Francis - Hospitality and Community after Christendom
A webinar on how and why we should use sharing food to both practice hospitality and build up Christian community, whether at house-group or congregational level, with reference to the style of hospitality and food-sharing that ‘eating Jesus-style’ demands. Go to the recording

Nigel Pimlott - Youthwork after Christendom
Mission and work with young people has undergone significant transformation since the publication of Youth Work After Christendom back in 2008. Great strides have been made. There has been an emergence of a post-Christendom narrative as pioneers and prophets have begun to dance to a new missional tune. However, for many people in churches, it is still about getting young people’s bums on seats on a Sunday. The Christendom mindset is alive and well and continues to unhelpfully inform far too much Christian-motivated work with young people. This webinar will reflect back on the original 2008 book and consider models of mission with young people based upon symbiosis, social justice and explorations of new uncharted waters. Go to the recording

Stuart Murray Williams - The Fading Brilliance of Christendom
The Christendom culture that dominated Europe for centuries and transposed itself with great success into many other nations was undoubtedly a brilliant achievement. It was also brutal, suppressing dissent and extending its influence through violence as well as persuasion, but it has left a remarkable legacy in all walks of life and most areas of society. As Christendom fades, should we grieve or celebrate its passing? What resources should we carry with us into post-Christendom, and what baggage should we leave behind? Go to the recording

Margins: webinars with Mike Pears, exploring the theme of mission in marginal places

Sponsored by Urban Expression, Bristol Baptist College, BMS World Mission and the Church of the Brethren

Engaging with Power
Poor neighborhoods are often stigmatized as 'problem estates' or 'no-go zones' and the people are divided into 'insiders' and 'outsiders.' When we do mission in these areas we realize that hte issues are much more complex than they first appeared. We soon find ourselves with more questions than answers. What is marginalization? Why does it affect people so powerfully? What does mission look like in marginal places? This webinar will explore these key questions. Go to the recording

Researching Neighborhoods: Practical Tools for a Prophetic Community
Church planters can spend months researching a new place in order to shape their strategy. However neighborhoods are not that easy to read. It is difficult to see beond the obvious. Often we settle for a superficial understanding. Getting to know our neighborhood more deeply will change and challenge us in unexpected ways. It will open our eyes to what Jesus is doing around us and help us to be a prophetic church. Practical tools will be introduced for this exploratory journey. Go to the recording

Leading Teams with Fran Beckett - 3-27-2014

Relational Leadership with Kerry Coke - 2-25-2014

Pioneering webinars

A series of three webinars exploring the theme of pioneering, hosted by the Church of the Brethren and organised together with Urban Expression, Bristol Baptist College and BMS World Mission.

Juliet Kilpin: Pioneers -- Embracing the Unknown

Steve Finamore: Joining Jesus Outside the Camp: Pioneering God -- Pioneering People of God

David Kerrigan: Pioneering in a Global Context

Prayer and Service webinar, featuring Phileena Heuertz

Annual Conference 2013 worship and business sessions

Missional Worship as the Heart of Christian Formation with Debra Dean Murphy: "Missional Worship and the Lord's Table"

Missional Worship as the Heart of Christian Formation with Debra Dean Murphy: "Missional Worship and Congregational Formation"

Living the Biblical Vision of a Multi-Voiced Church (Part 2), featuring Stuart Murray Williams: "The Vision for a Multi-Voiced Church"

Living the Biblical Vision of a Multi-Voiced Church (Part 1), featuring Stuart Murray Williams: "Monologue or Multi-Voiced Learning?"

The Wonder of it all (Part 1), featuring Anabel Proffitt: "What is wonder? Where and how do we find it?"

The Wonder of it all (Part 2), featuring Anabel Proffitt: "Cultivating religious imagination in life and ministry"

Changing World, Future Church Part 1 with Stuart Murray and Juliet Kilpin (March 2012)

Changing World, Future Church Part 2 with Stuart Murray and Juliet Kilpin (March 2012)

Befriending a New Vision (church renewal webinar with Roger Shenk, September 2011)

National Older Adult Conference 2011

Annual Conference 2011

Emotional Intelligence webinar featuring Don Booz (June 23, 2011)

2011 Intercultural Consultation and Celebration