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EFAC Australia

An outline of Stephen Hale's talk at the EFAC Emerging Leaders Conference 22nd September 2014

1. Three Stages of Human History

•    Ancient World
        Problem – fact of death
        Solution – resurrection and new life

•    Medieval World
        Problem – forgiveness and satisfaction
        Solution – grace by faith

•    Modern/Post Modern World
        Problem – is there any purpose to the universe
        Solution – maximise choice – any solution is okay as long as it works for you

2. The Five Eras of Church History
     a. 0-500 – Foundation to Christendom
     b. 500-1000 – Holy Roman Empire to Great Schism – East and West split
     c. 1000-1500 – Dark Ages up until the Great Reformation combined with Communication Revolution (Printing Press)
     d. 1500-2000 – Spread of Church by Empire/Migration
     e.  2000 - ? – Post Christendom/New Mission Era/Communication Revolution (Internet)

3. Where we are now?

    A Cross Over Era
        One way of being Church is coming to an end
        A New Way of Church is emerging

    An Era of Great opportunity – Church Planting/Re-planting

    An Era of Significant Tension – Theologically/Ecclesially

    An Era with a perplexing number of ideas on the way forward

4. Possible Responses to Where We Are Now?

     i. Orthodoxy of Theology or Orthodoxy of Practice
        Big ‘R’ Reformed and small ‘a’ Anglican or Big ‘A’ Anglican and small ‘r’ reformed
        Many Australian Anglicans are in one of these places in their Diocese

     ii. The Quest for Certainty
        Endlessly pursuing reformed thinking
        Endlessly pursuing Anglican thinking

    iii. Denial and do nothing – the standard institutional response
    ‘nothing worse than doing the same thing again and again when you know it’s not working.’ (Borden)

    Definition of insanity – ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ (Einstein)

     iv. Embracing Change and the many opportunities
        eg. Network Churches – Adelaide, Kew

     v. Mono Method Mania – everyone doing the same as everyone else

     vi. Finding your own way/views/running with your hunches in a context where there is a perplexing array of opinions/movements/gurus

     vii. Church Planting / Replanting
        eg. Diocese of London

     viii. Mission is  everywhere and everywhere
        -Local and Global
        -Through church gathered and church scattered

 5.  St Paul’s Threefold Mission Vision/Purpose  

2 Corinthians 10:15b-16a
Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you.

     i. Ongoing growth in faith (maturing as disciples)

     ii. Expanding gospel work locally

     iii. Preaching to people by planting new congregations/churches

Every church needs to work through:
    What is our purpose?
    Why are we here?
    What are we particularly seeking to contribute to the kingdom of God?

Mission                     (Why are we here?/What is our purpose?)

Vision                     (Where do we hope to end up?)

Values                     (Who are we?)

Strategic Directions         (How will we get there?)

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