For those in Sydney, you may be interested to hear that Ryde based group The Harbour is holding a forum called “Faith Beyond Church” next month. The forum is for people “who have been emotionally or spiritually hurt or disillusioned by the institutional church” with the aim of providing opportunities for people to share experiences and find ways to renew their understanding of church. Details:

  • Friday 11th September 2009
  • Forum starts at 7pm, initially in a coffee shop in Chatswood (further details upon registration)
  • Registration by 4th September is essential as places are limited.
  • Enquiries and for registration please contact:

11 thoughts on “Faith Beyond Church Forum

  1. Doh, left off the link. Now fixed, I’ve added a hyperlink ot the above post. From what I know they’re an interdenominational church plant that’s been going for about four months. Ive bounced into some of them online a couple of times but haven’t visited physically.


  2. I’m one of the leaders (we call group minders). I’ve been trained at Morling, been in Anglican and Baptist churches in Sydney. Our three other group minders are also maturer believers who have all been in leadership of churches. We’re a group who is wanting to explore our faith in a small community and get back to the basics in discoverying who we are in Christ.
    Who we are about see our website ( Want to explore more with us, come to the forum or one of our gatherings. Next gathering is 6 Sept at 4:30pm. Email us for address (


  3. Thanx Matt. I have linked into The Harbour due to finding it through your website here. Attended my 1st meeting with them last week and another tonight.


  4. Quite an interesting night. Started with meal together, although I got caught up in traffic and missed that.
    Main demogrpahic of attendees and my observations:
    * 12 attended
    * all over 30-late 50’s
    * all lots of background in Church – mainly Baptist, with one or 3C or other Pentecostal background, Anglican – several tried various traditions
    * most professionals, degreed levels educationally
    * most expressed disatisfaction with being under-utilised by churches, hierachical-institutional church, elitism & cliques, overcontrolling forms of closed leadership
    * several developed faith groups outside the institutional church
    * some with formal ministry/missionary backgrounds – no longer working within institutional systems deliberately
    * expressed a sense of mutual disengagement with corporate modelled institutional church – one experimenting with other spiritualities
    * several attend traditional model churches, but most not and finding alternatives eg. women’s faith group involving 12 core members for one lady
    * brainstorming about what group gathered interpreted to be Church
    * most in some way interested in emergent church stuff and had read about it (my impression)
    * no non-Christians attended
    * very little discussion of missional-incarnational DNA of Church – perhaps will develop later
    * some understanding of `communitas’ by people attending seemed implicit by what was said during forum.
    * Books by Al Hirsch, Mike Frost, Frank Viola stood prominent on table in middle of room
    * APEST concept loosely referred to by one of the leaders of the night
    * discussion of Viola’s stuff on `flatter’ structures of leadership, non-hierarchical.
    See lots of potential for this community to develop further. Would like to hear more on its missional-incarnational vision for the future.
    Perhaps Mel could elaborate further on the Forum.


  5. Missed a bit in last post:
    Lack of suitable discipleship processes in today’s church talked about & lack of release of mature Christians into suitable ministry expression of their gifts, abilities. Closed orders of ministries to just the few.


  6. Interesting. Sounds very organic Missional stream apart from your comments on lack of missional-incarnational DNA talk. Given that I would be interested to hear what they have to say about the Homogenous Unit Principle, for or against. That is, whether they are angling towards sub-cultural church, or multi-cultural church, or whether they’ve thought that far yet. I would be expecting a sub-cultural emphasis. In contrast to the multi-cultural reconciliation emphasis more common amongst open Anabaptists like myself.


  7. Oh, for clarification, these days I tend to differentiate between different style of emergence, between charismatic Calvinists, open Anabaptists, organic Missionals, creative Liturgicals, Emergent deconstructionists and the like.


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