Why a MINSTER Model?
Today the church is facing a crisis of faith and those who track the decline show we haven’t got long before even urban areas start to have only a few, or in some areas, very little of any church left. We need to try something different together and, together, work out what it means to be God’s people here and now. God’s story is no longer embedded in our society and the longer this goes on the more distant people become, we cannot presume that people know anything about the Christian story – let alone understand anything about what we call church. We need a ruthless realism about the current situation around us.
To this end, we are working towards a new structure where all 4 local Anglican churches work together within a Minster Model to share resources and work together more closely across the greater Swadlincote area. A Minister Model is different from previous church models in that it has a bold vision which breaks away from traditional patterns and looks to supporting other churches in their common mission. As 4 anglican churches we will operate as 1 Minster. A group of churches intentionally, structurally, and strategically sharing resources (people, money, material) to support the collective mission and ministry offered across a defined and contexutally-appropriate geographical area.
The Minster Model is going to give us all space and opportunities to be different and to experiment with forms of worship, outreach, mission and evangelism. Gresley Church are going to ‘head-up’, as part of this new Minster Model, setting up and developing Missional Communities.
What are Missional Communities?
Missional Communities (MC) are a vehicle into mission and a structure that helps us get to the heart of the Lord’s vision for all His children – being part of an extended family (church). To begin with they will operate on 2 Sundays mornings each month as members of Gresley Church are sent out onto different estates/parts of greater Swadlincote to serve different communities in differing ways.
Each Missional Community(MC)is led by a team of locally authorised lay people drawn from amongst us – who are supported by more experienced leaders. The team leading the MC, with support from the rest of us, will shape the MCs unique identity, focus and style – each one being different from the other.
A Missional Communityis not an event or service that’s put on for people to arrive at. It is designed to draw people into participating as if they are already part of the extended church family (e.g.: everyone is encouraged to bring food, everyone clears away at the end); the activities are deliberately designed to involve everyone.
A Missional Communityis group of approximately 20-40 people (drawn from us) who are seeking to reach a particular neighbourhood, issue or group of people with the Gospel. They are open to all people to come and participate in.
Missional Communitiesare deliberately lightweight, low-maintenance, and led by a team of lay people. They need to be inexpensive and require minimal preparation so that locally authorised lay people can prepare and lead them. Ongoing research shows the majority of growth in the church today is coming from lay led, local missional communities (also known by the wider term ‘fresh expressions’ of church).
Missional Communitiesare centred around a vision – vision is the magnet that draws people to the MC, vision is the energy that keeps the MC going when the going gets tough. That vision could end up with an MC that looks traditional, or like a messy church, or like a sports club, or based around hobby crafts, or around breakfast/brunch, or a…, or a…, or a…, and so on…
Gresley Church – A Church at the heart of the Community seeking to be:
Rooted in Scripture, Relational, & Abundantly Generous.