An Interweaving Ecclesiology
The Church, Mission and Young People
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What is church? What spaces does church occupy? Can ecclesial space exist beyond the boundaries of church? In An Interweaving Ecclesiology Mark Scanlan offers a fresh vision of Christian community as constructed for and by participants as potential ecclesial spaces combine to create an experience which we call "church".
Drawing in particular on research into the dynamic between youth groups and the churches within which they operate, Scanlan brings us a distinct approach to the church in mission that can nuance and develop the tired and sometimes flawed thinking around Fresh Expressions and pioneer ministry.
Combining deep ecclesiology with a practical approach, this book will be useful to students and scholars of pioneer and youth ministry and those with a wider interest in how churches operate.
Part 1: Foundations
1. The Dialogical Nature of the Church: Theological Perspectives 15
2. The Changing World: Sociological Perspectives 42
3. The Current Gap in our Thinking: Practical Perspectives 72
Part 2: The Case Studies
4. An Interweaving Ecclesiology in Practice: Presenting the Case Studies 103
5. An Interweaving Ecclesiology in Practice: Potential Ecclesial Life in the Groups 127
6. An Interweaving Ecclesiology in Practice: Ambiguity and Potential 157
Part 3: Expanding the Scope for an Interweaving Ecclesiology
7. Beyond Fresh Expressions: A Mandate for the Whole Church in Mission 183
8. Not Everything Goes: Regulating the Interweaving Church 206
9. Releasing Creativity: Interweaving and Pioneering 227
"As a youth worker himself, Mark has lived the practical wisdom he amplifies in his writing. Youth workers will find their 'ecclesial imagination' recognised, championed and refined through this valuable contribution to the youth ministry literature. Churches too will find themselves enlarged in all sorts of ways, through paying attention to what happens when two or more teenagers gather in the name of Jesus." -- Lucie Shuker, Youthscape
"The church is in need of an ecclesiology that is both flexible to our culture and in keeping with tradition. Scanlan's 'Interweaving Ecclesiology' is derived from how young people actually practice their Christianity. His concept of 'potential ecclesial spaces' frees up fresh expressions and missional activity from the sometime limiting 'rush' to form mature expressions of church. In an era of both 'mixed ecology' and 'save the parish', this is an ecclesiology that may offer a way to challenge the polarising certainties of different traditions by allowing missional imagination of many traditions to flourish together. It is an important addition to ecclesiological discussions of the mixed ecology, youth ministry, and fresh expressions of church." -- Andrew Dunlop, Ridley Hall, UK