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This is an excellent post Mark, Jonny Baker posts about "fresh Expressions" and says

one of the unseen pieces of work that fresh expressions has done, and this is due in large part to the institutional credibility, patiience and hard work of steve croft who heads it up is to get changes to policy. this may sound dull but in the long run may end up being the real legacy of fresh expressions...

one is a new pathway to ordination for pioneer ministers recognising that people starting new communities have a very different set of gifts and skills and training needs to pastor/teacher types. this is already leading to a whole raft of people applying to get ordained who probably wouldn't have before.
the second is opening up a new set of training for lay (hate that word but you no what i mean) pioneers to be resourced by regional training partnerships or dioceses.
and the third is developing a code of practice for dioceses, pastoral and mission measure. in effect this is addressing the parish system which has made it awkward for someone starting something new as it feels like they are on someone else's territory. this piece of legislation means that it is now possible to view the bishop as a leader or broker in mission (and hopefully some bishops might see themselves as precisely this), and there is a new device of a bishop's mission order that is the technical way that this permission is granted.

He also has an add for Howies on his blog - you guys in cahoots?

that wasnt a blog post . . . . that was a BOOK!

hey - good stuff - i will be at the entreprenuer deal on monday in london.

Greg, I wouldn't quite say "cahoots" but we do work together from time to time ;-)

Andrew, Yeah, sorry about that.... I thought about putting up a .pdf and posting a link but I decided to just do a split post so it didn't clog up peoples readers!

i feel like you are talking about me and suddenly so much of my struggles in church (past and present) make more sense. how lovely to feel understood - i agree with andrew that you've written more of a book than a blog post. it's not often i relate so directly to something someone writes or says but this is nail-on-the-head for me!

thank you.

The funny part is that TRUE entrepreneurs don't need to be “released.” They go crazy all by themselves. The ones who are waiting to be released are no entrepreneurs.

Johannes, that is true to some extent, but... there are different kinds of entrepreneurs, and there are different contexts. Some will go off and do their own thing in isolation - often dismissed by the "mainstream" (no problem with that) and therefore can have little or no impact on it - there are plenty of those and we need more as many of them do in the medium to long term effect the general culture, some feel the desire/need to remain in relationship with the "mainstream" to change the culture in a more explicit way. Also this post is about how we harness/release the entrepreneurial spirit in a way which transforms/impacts the "mainstream"... how is it possible to change the church culture so that a) entrepreneurs do not have to create 'despite' the culture and so that b) what they do expands and transforms the church. So it's not just about allowing them (or turning a blind eye) to go off and do their own thing, but instead listening/hearing them and allowing oursleves to be led by them. So the question is not simply do entrepreneurs create, but how do we allow them to relate with and impact the church/mission and not just be some radical strain that does it's own thing "over there".

Secondly, Bill Bolton talks about three strains of entrepreneurship; individual entrepreneur (the kind you mention), community entrepreneurs (who lead communities into creative action - who co-create) and talent scouts (who are entrepreneurial and creative/dynamic in how they find, relate to and mentor others), the latter two need to have some sense of connection/community... whilst some are "lucky" and find themselves in a situation where they can be in a community that releases them (Kubik is a good example where Mark and others foster and "release" the creatives... to some extent they draw creatives together into a community) for others this doesn't happen, I have met many who entrepreneurs who find themselves completely alone, isolated within Church but with a sense of "having" to stay connected, and whose every creative idea is crushed by structure, by culture, by personalities and by personal attack... so it isn't about them "waiting" but being isolated and not trusted. Church isn't the same as business, in that many have been "brought" up to conform to the culture for matters of deep spirituality/faith they are not there simply for comercial gain or job satisfaction etc. so do not feel they can just walk away and do their own thing... though more and more do (see Alan Jamieson's research for example) There are always radicals who dissasociate but there are also many who live on the knife-edge.

I’m totaly with you on this one, bro. It’s not the entrepreneurs who have to change or ‘be released.’ It’s the culture of church which has to change.

I just can’t stand the term ‘to release someone’ as in my experience it is only used by people who get nothing done and wait for someone “to release them” as if that would change anything.

I Understand... and agree with what you mean... partly the reason I used "recognised and released" I think. If we did have a culture that DID pro-actively seek to release people though, i.e. isn't worried that some would still "do nothing" and "change nothing" and isn't worried that some of those that "do something" will stuff it up, then things might just change!

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