Encounters on the Edge (issues 1-20)



01-small1. Living Proof – a new way of being church?
by George Lings - download
Living Proof is the name of a small Christian community working for community development in a deprived area of north east Cardiff.

02-small2. Unit 8: Out of sight, out of nothing
by George Lings - download
June 1997 saw Unit 8 refurbished and ready to run; lino on the floor, posters on the walls, a moveable pool table,TV and video. But ready for what...?

03-small3. Cell Church Planting - Has Church reached its Cell Buy Date?
by George Lings - download
The questions “What is Church?” and “What should emerging forms of Church be like in the early years of the New Millennium?” are in a state of ferment. George Lings investigates an example of one possible way forward.

4. Eternity - the beginning
by George Lings - download
Eternity’s mission statement: to build a community in which Christians and non-Christians can experience God’s love.



5. Joining the club - or changing the rules?
by George Lings - download
Why bother to validate new ways of being Church?

06-small6. "Across the Pond"
by George Lings - download
Why should a stagnant pond be the hidden key to effective church planting? How can churches, used to a mentality of “Come”, set out on the vulnerable journey to “Go”? George Lings investigates a church drawn down that path.

07-small7. New Canterbury Tales
by George Lings - download
Why have network churches sprung up in Canterbury diocese? At what cost and by what means? Are these new and do we need them? If so why, and how can they flourish?

08-small8. Thame or Wild?
by George Lings - download
A historic Oxfordshire town conjures tame images: middle England, middle church, and middle class. But any history that tells of trebled membership, principled diversification and the creation of further congregations has lessons to teach us.



09-small9. Leading Lights - Who can lead new churches?
by George Lings - download part 1, download part 2, download part 3
Lay leaders exist across the spectrum of emerging churches. As many as one third of church plants have been lay led. Is this a welcome throwing off of the shackles of clericalism? Does it work?

10-small10. Hard Graft?
by George Lings - download part 1, download part 2, download part 3
Have you ever been faced with having to revitalise a church? Is this replanting? How many elements of the old will continue? Can it work or is it hard graft?

11-small11. Never on a Sunday?
by George Lings - download
Sunday attendance patterns have altered so much that the Church of England is changing the way it collects the figures. But what are none Sunday churches like? George Lings went to visit some.

12-small12. The Enigma of Alternative Worship
by George Lings - download
Should we see it as creative or subversive? Does it serve paradoxical or unreconcilable needs? Why does it live uncomfortably with the label stuck on by others? What is alternative Worship? We went to find out.



13-small13. Encountering Exile
by George Lings - download
With the decline of the Church in the west, our world seems so different to the joyful simplicity of the new Church of the New Testament. Where else in the Scriptures could we look to cope and hope?

14-small14. Can the Church make a difference to communities living in the inner city?
by George Lings - download part 1, download part 2, download part 3
The Eden Projects in Manchester are serious about transformation in the inner city. Significant progress seems to have eluded the Church so far. Eden looks as though it has found some clues.

15-small15. Dynasty or Diversity? - The HTB family of churches
by George Lings and Paul Perkin - download
Within the UK church planting movement, Holy Trinity Brompton in London has been one of the leaders. How transferable is their model of planting? Is this dynastic cloning or intentional diversity?

16-small16. Mass Planting - Learning from Catholic evangelism
by George Lings - download
Scenario: Passionate Catholic sacramentalist meets radical mission-minded evangelist - what do they say to one another? What if this mix was two halves of one person who planted an unusual church?



17-small17. Addicted to Planting?
by Claire Dalpra - download
How do people in recovery from addiction become disciples? What would a church plant of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics look like? Is Alcoholics Anonymous a model of emerging church for the 21st century? Claire Dalpra investigates.

18-small18. Stepping Stones
by George Lings - download
Suppose a middle class church was called to work on a run-down council estate, frighteningly called “Little Beirut”? How much could they know about how to tackle the task? Was that why they called the church plant “Stepping Stones”?

19-small19. Net Gains
by George Lings - download
Churches for networks of people (not neighbourhoods) are on the increase. What can we learn from the early examples, now that such churches are being intentionally begun by dioceses?

20-small20. Soft Cell
by George Lings - download
Devotees of cell promote it as the big change needed for today’s church. Others have decided that the price is too high, the pain is too great, or cell doesn’t fit where they are. Is there any middle way to do cell alongside congregation without fatally weakening what cell offers at its best?

Andrew Wooding, 15/02/2017