I have recently been reading, talking and thinking about how we can view the success (if that’s the right word) of the fresh expressions movement as a whole and also individual fresh expressions of church. The difficulty I find is that the only measuring stick I have to gauge how well something is doing is against inherited models of thinking about what makes something successful.
But I am more and more convinced that the conclusions of what I’m thinking are that may be the things that we are doing at the moment are actually creating the measuring stick by which to judge things by in the future. For example one of our groups that meet on a Sunday night in a pub for men has been going for three years, we now regularly have 10 lads who come and engage with us, but still over the past couple of weeks even after some amazing journeys and conversations no one turned up.
In many ways this can feel very deflating and can very easily breed a defeatist attitude, but actually in reality it was just circumstance of what was going on in everyone’s life over them couple of weeks and actually I don’t believe that this has been in any way any sort of failure, but measuring this against a yardstick of inherited church if after three years of being the vicar suddenly nobody turned up to church on a Sunday morning I am sure many questions would be asked.