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FEAST Day 2 - great day of Networking!

Building Networks

Networks are becoming more and more important. In the past we organised businesses, churches and communities around hierarchical structures but we now live in an age of networks in which networks describe the way we work, the way we relate, the way we communicate and the communities we seek to serve. The internet is not just a tool for communication - it is a way of understanding the world we live in. It exists because we live in a network age - and it is encouraging a society which works in a similar way...

If networks are so important then we may need to learn how to live in a network age and operate in networks. Networking is an increasingly important skill for mission and ministry and this was a big theme at the FEAST Day in Milton Keynes on Saturday 6th March.

The purpose of the day was to bring people together who are keen to explore new ways of doing church in Milton Keynes. It was good to hear some stories from people who are working away on various projects. Coffee time was an opportunity for people to catch up with each other and meet new people. Ideas were shared and contact details swapped...

Mike Baldwin and Testament provided the opening worship and told us a little about their story and the things they do. Testament, Mike told us, is not so much a band as a database. It's a list of names and contact details of musicians from a range of churches in Milton Keynes who can come together to provide high quality music for outreach events. They are already providing music for Oakhill STC and Woodhill prison. On Easter weekend they have been asked to provide five hours of music at Middleton Hall. No individual church could do this, but the database makes it possible!

The story of Testament shows us what can be possible if networking skills are used well. Mike is a great networker and has been very good at building a network of musicians across the city - and talking to people who might have opportunities to offer.

Mike questioned whether Testament and M&M should count as fresh expressions. This really depends on how you read the definition. This project does have a lot to say, however, about being church in a contemporary way - and it is seeking to serve those who are 'not yet members of any church'. Whether it's technically a 'fresh expression' or not, it is a good example of the role that networks can play in the mission of the church.