Seeking insight from the real-life development of the earliest expressions of emerging church from their birth, through times of adolescent angst and into the reality of adulthood, First Expressions offers a unique insight into the long-term sustainability of fresh expressions.
Presenting the lived practice of the church in mission through a longitudinal lens, and eschewing the rose-tinted approach, it considers the reality of emerging churches - their birth and death, their creativity and conflict, their dreams and despair.
A picture of a church that is neither gathered and parish nor independent and networked emerges as the biographies of mission are brought into dialogue with a very ancient expression of mission, the birth of Philippians as a first expression of church in Europe.
Part 1 Introducing first expressions
1. Definitions and a roadmap 3
2. Birthing first expressions: Empirical and ecclesiological 20
3. Body-ing forth in innovation 33
Part 2 First expressions 11 years on
4. Tried 51
5. Tried and died 73
Part 3 Fresh Expressions
6. An apostle of Fresh Expressions 97
7. Birthing Fresh Expressions as an organizational innovation 109
8. Moves in mission 132
Part 4 Becoming in ecclesial innovation
9. One in authenticity 149
10. Becoming apostolic in ambient witness 166
11. Becoming holy in making 188
12. Becoming catholic in sacrament and structure 207
13. Coda: A Theologic of first expressions 225
Index of Names and Subjects 245
Index of Bible references