All around the world we see a wide range of new expressions of church springing up; missional churches, emerging churches, micro-churches, simple churches, deconstructed-churches, eco-churches, intentional communities, art-communities, neo-monastic group-houses. They vary in character but are commonly small, non-hierarchical communities.
Such groups are generally happy to rejoice in the freedom from branding, empire-building and big corporate agendas that can sometimes mark bigger church structures. At the same time many groups enjoy the benefits of wider fellowship and association – the blessing of being part of something much bigger with a wider diversity of gifts and missions. It has been my great privilege to serve a variety of these kinds of groups – particularly in those moments of beginning, or of challenge and transition, when wider fellowship and input has been sought out.
Sensing the breath of God in the emergence of diverse grassroots expressions of church, Ruth and I have been and continue to be very happy to offer the open hand of friendship to give whatever help and encouragement we can to neighbours involved in these ways of being Church.
From 2007 to 2011 it was our privilege to serve as Regional Team Leaders for OIKOS Australia on the NSW South Coast and in the ACT. We love to walk alongside and encourage.
OIKOS Australia is an Australia-wide servant ministry that exists to serve and encourage people in grassroots expressions of church/missional life. If you would like a visit, or a conversation, or for more information about OIKOS Australia click here for the OIKOS website.
It was our joy to serve alongside the late Revd Bessie Pereira,
who headed up OIKOS Australia for that period
– along with a national team of seasoned
church workers and leaders.
Phil Brown now heads up OIKOS Australia’s national team
Phil has been involved in ministry for the past 26 years in Australia in pastoring, planting churches, managing aid organisations, training pastors and lay members in spirituality and outreach. For the past 4-5 years he has enjoyed vision casting and mentoring leaders while supporting the planting of some 40 new churches and missional groups in Western Australia.
His love of learning has led him to study theology, history, psychology and sociology. Currently studying at a Doctoral level he is researching Discipleship and Evangelism in Missional Groups and Churches. He believes that fresh expressions of Church and Faith Communities are needed to reach average people in Australia and other countries. His heart is to see Movements develop which advance the Kingdom of God. His passion involves teaching in spirituality, prayer ministry and desires to see people connect with God in deeper and more intimate ways. He has led seminars throughout Australia and internationally.