Reading the press release from the recent Fresh Expressions Conference in Durham was refreshing.
I am aware that there is a certain cynicism out there about about Fresh Expressions in terms of people calling just about anything (eg. a new church notice board) a ‘fresh expression’. However, the report on James Dunn’s input sounds interesting, though it’s a pity that the press release didn’t give us more of the content on Graham Tomlin’s input addressing the question, “Can Fresh Expressions change culture.”
Professor Dunn noted that Jesus was a Jew, his disciples were all Jewish and that “Christianity began as a movement within Judaism.” He then suggested that the Jesus movement within Judaism could be interpreted as a fresh expression of Israel’s traditional religion. His emphasis was that “The character of Christianity as a fresh expression is enshrined in our sacred texts. These are the texts which define Christianity more clearly and definitively than any other writings.”
Anyone else think that this might be a frutful way of thinking about fresh expressions?
I haven’t posted for a while but I’m back.
I’ve had some interesting conversations and learning experiences over the last month or so. I want to reflect on some here.
My friend and business colleague, Patrick Mayfield, presented some very interesting findings about change from the world of science, particularly medicine. “The central issue is never strategy, culture, or systems,” says John Kotter. “The core of the matter is always about changing the behaviour of people.”
Most behavioural change programmes fail for patients with preventable disease fail. But Dr Dean Ornish’s programme for turning round people with clogged arteries has bucked the trend.
Without going into details, it was holistic and the marks of its success were:
framing the change with the incentive of the joy of living rather than the fear of death – and telling a different story about life than the one that has become ingrained.
introducing radical changes rather than incremental ones. They are often easier for people!
supporting the change with the help of peers, trainers and motivators.
How might that apply in your life and setting? I’m working it through in mine.