Introducing Fringe Expressions

You've heard of Fresh Expressions? Good. I want to introduce the idea of Fringe Expressions which is our next major project.

Fringe-expressions-blog

But before I waffle on about what I mean by that strange phrase, I need to pause . . . and say . . .  THANKS to our sponsors for the incredible last season of support for our Missional Entrepreneurs Project.

Sponsor-mission-fresh-expression-church-thank-you

You all rock. Yes, you rock indeed!

We just completed our first year of NO REGULAR INCOME [ouch!!] and YET we were able to keep going by the grace of God and the generosity of people like you. In fact, we were able to minister in over 20 countries last year and help equip over 500 missional entrepreneurs for effective ministry in their cities.

We could not have achieved the outcomes of the Missional Entrepreneurs Project without the generous sponsorship of these wonderful churches, individuals, businesses and organizations  . . . . [no blushing you guys!]

Top sponsors last season: CMS, Gateway Baptist, Maclellan Foundation, Grace Community, Theo Presents, Edugames, Christian Associates, Sir Tobys, PT and Magz, Jarda B. from Google, and the families of W, Sheng, Webb, LaBorde, Warren, Standerfer, Thomas, Fernandez, Chapman, Blick, Allis, and others. LOVE YOU ALL!!

Also a big thanks to my wife and 5 kids who have camped [cramped??] in an overlander truck and tents for the past year, switched to home-schooling, endured many hardships and sacrifices . . .

20-countries-travel-family

. . . as well as some scary, hair-extending moments

. . . like driving through a bumpy swampy wasteland in Albania

. . . and getting chased by drug dealers in the Rif mountains of Morocco

. . . and eating camel couscous in the Sahara desert.

[hmmmmm . . . that camel was quite good, actually]

ANYWAY . . . WHAT'S NEXT????

Well, our family, minus one son who jumped off the truck to get into university in Texas, is about to launch out in a few weeks for our next season of ministry overseas with a very special focus:

We are going to partner with leading mission organizations and denominations by helping them start 50 new church/mission structures around the world that will act as role models for church planting in the toughest parts of the world.

As well as being highly effective fresh expressions of church and mission, these new communities will bring a lasting, holistic impact through these 3 strategies:

1. Through social enterprise and mico-business they will move their ministries towards long-term sustainability.

2. Through social justice ventures they will touch the needy in their cities in measurable ways – ie, a spiritual, social, financial and environmental impact.

3. Through social media streaming they will contagiously share their story to leverage their experience and compel others to follow their examples.

Sneaky . .  huh?

These 50 new communities will be fresh expressions of church but, also, because they will intentionally position themselves to impact those on the fringe, we will call them "fringe expressions".

By fringe, I mean the cultural fringe (alternative, non-churched, victimized) the economic fringe (poor, needy, vulnerable) the geographic fringe (church-unfriendly areas and countries) and the spiritual fringe [NOT your father's old-time religion] where traditional church efforts make little progress.

Or in other words, they will go where no fresh expressions or missional communities or emerging churches have gone before.
Fringy-fresh-expression
 

What we need for this next season [and this is where you come in] is:

– Business entrepreneurs to advise on how these social enterprises can launch successfully

– Social media geeks to assist these ministries to have a compelling online presence

– Social justice practitioners to point us to the most urgent needs in their countries

– Denominations and mission agencies who want to partner with us in starting a fringe expression in their backyard

– Sponsors to fund this project with $$ and ££. €€'s are good too. I figure the project will take US$210,000.

– Sponsors to support our family with a salary. Half a pastor's wage should be enough.

– Prayer supporters and cheerleaders to encourage us and some to host us as we pass by in our truck.

– 5 cities to launch missional social enterprise centers that will provide training and resources for the movement.

Biggest needs right now are visas (US$500 – really urgent actually), a replacement computer (US$1500) [Andrew's Macbook died 3 months ago and the whole family is sharing ONE computer, which is not easy with a compulsive blogger in the family . . .  not saying who . . .] and plane fares to get to our European gatherings (US$2400). We also need insurance and rego for the overlander which is in Prague right now (US$750).

Donations can be made in UK through Stewardship [tallskinnykiwi – 20041672], USA through Community Development Initiatives Inc. (yep, 501c3, tax deductible, etc). Email me at tallskinnykiwi at gmail dot com for more details.

A quick and painless no-brainer love-gift??? Use this Jonesberries Paypal button.

oooohhhhh yeah I feel that love!!!!!!!!

Our newsletter has more info including all the dodgy countries we are about to enter. Can't say everything on the blog [let the reader understand]. In the box below you can request your inclusion into our somewhat irregular, annoyingly propaganderous, often intrusionous and yet strangely and suprisingly intriguing newsletter of the intrepid adventures of our family and team as we venture forth into the world of fringe.

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So . . .  time to launch forward into the next season. Fringe Expressions is an 18 month project and it will be a strrrreeeeeeeeeeetttching challenge for all of us. Can I count on your support?

UPDATE: Fringe Expressions Facebook group

RELATED: Bishop Graham Cray: Fresh expressions on the Fringe?

Share the Guide: How can we sustain our fresh expression?


Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

11 Comments

  • Amazing family, yours, Andrew … this new 18 month plan sounds outrageous (in a good kind of way). Thanks for having such amazing vision and connections and plans. I am confident that the Holy Spirit is already active in the hearts and minds (and pockets) of those being called to participate — on all sides.
    Praying with you for each piece and every step….

  • Love you deary… you rock. yup you do…. Send sum hugs and squishy kisses round to the family. I’ll punch Sam for you..
    Yup will keep praying… now MOVE!
    xocat

  • don’t I know that weeping willow?
    The fringe expressions sound interesting to me.
    If you’re looking for a place where ‘where traditional church efforts make little progress.’ come to Belgium I would say… After 50 years of dechristianisation there’s only church on the fringes left anyway…
    I don’t know what I can do but pray. If I had money I’d give you some, but I’m affraid I don’t. If you’d come this way again I’d be glad to help you with anything…
    peace
    Bram (and Fleur and our baby Hazel-Lore)

  • Hi Andrew, I’ve been sitting on your post for a couple up weeks hoping it will hatch, egg fashion. As I’m still waiting I’ll jump in anyway. I have some jigsaw pieces and maybe they fit:
    – I’m a member of the Mennonite Central Commmittee (Western Europe) advisory committee. Usually meets Strasbourg. I’m London based and part of Wood Green Mennonite Church.
    – I’m a trustee with Housing Justice (natioal housing and homelessness umbrella body)
    – the day job involves fx and young adults
    – I’m working on a ‘walking church’ – a rather fun ‘fringe expression’: http://www.stpixels.com/blog-entry?entry=a0d96e2f-1a37-4562-8660-a7d17c1931ab#comments. I would love to combine this with a Mennonite fresh expressions initiative (Mennofex).
    I’ve no idea where that lot fits but I suspect London would be a great base for missional social enterprise. Lots of valuable links, infrastructure, resources, potential locations, etc. I’ll be glad to talk about that if you’re interested. The thrust of this (very unsystematic) reply is to say the tiny UK based Mennonite constituency ‘feels’ right for your fringe expressions initiative. Housing Justice and the MCC would be terrific social justice partners. Shalom, phil

  • I’m very excited about this project, as I’m sure many are. Having been involved with new expressions of church now and in the past, I know how difficult it can be to dream, develop, begin and sustain a project, and yet there is such a great need to revive and recreate the way we come to God. As you said Andrew, ‘fringe’ covers a lot of groups who are missing out. I’m glad that’s changing.
    I’m excited about what a project like this might mean for the expressions I’m running for artists here in WA who have never fit in with traditional models. I look forward to exploring it further.

  • Very keen to be involved on the social media side as we’ve been working on online presence and networking thru social media for about two years on i-church now.

  • really? dangitt!!! i will take a look. we really need you on our social media advisory team, Pam. Hang in there . . .

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