Urban Expression Associates share the values of Urban Expression and participate in a learning community, sharing news, insights and resources. Part of this website is accessible only to Associates.
If you are interested in becoming an Associate, please contact us and we will get in touch with you to discuss this.
A learning community
Urban Expression Associates participate in this learning community in various ways:
Regularly sharing news of their own activities, requests for prayer, lessons they have learned and questions they are wrestling with.
- Responding to issues raised by other Associates, interacting on the questions asked, offering fresh ideas and insights.
- Passing on information about events, books, reports, initiatives and ideas that might be helpful to others.
- Making available to others expertise in particular areas (e.g. website design, evangelism, photography, theological education, etc.).
- Visiting one another in order to bring encouragement, support activities, build friendship links and participate in peer mentoring relationships.
- Participating in consultations that draw together Associates to explore particular issues or to provide training.
The Urban Expression website hosts this learning community, enabling Associates to communicate with one another through an on-line forum and blog facility. Associates and their activities are featured in the public section of the website and have access to a private section, where news can be shared confidentially.
Urban Expression has been working in East London since 1997 and in various other cities, providing a support structure for small teams planting churches and engaging in various holistic mission activities in the local communities in which they live. Gradually churches have begun to emerge and a range of projects have been developed: an Asian Friendship Centre, CRE8 (a schools team working with excluded pupils), a motorbike project, pastoral work in the local psychiatric hospital, community sports weeks and much else. Progress has mainly been patient rather than dramatic.
We have found that others far from the cities in which we are working have been drawn to the core values and mission strategy of Urban Expression. Some have asked whether Urban Expression might be able to assist them in developing similar initiatives in other urban communities. Some are already involved in such initiatives but are looking for opportunities to learn from others involved in church planting. Many are urban church planters, but some are simply living in urban areas and involved in other forms of local mission and ministry, while others are church planters working on housing estates or other places that are not in the inner city. The contexts are different, but many of the challenges are similar.
Urban Expression Associates was launched in 2004 to enable those who are involved in these contexts to network together and learn from one another. Those who participate in this network are not joining an organisation but a learning community. We share values and a common approach rather than a common structure or strategy. Associates will retain their own separate identity, organisational name (if any) and governance structure.
As well as developing relationships with other urban church planters, Urban Expression has also been forging links with other organisations that share our values and commitments. These include:
- Urban Expression Netherlands
- Urban Presence
- Shalom Ministries
- Anabaptist Network
- London Mennonite Centre
- Catalyst Trust
- Servants to Asia's Urban Poor
- CURBS: Children in URBan Situations
Their websites provide more information about their ethos and activities. Associates are encouraged to explore the resources they offer.