10 Questions for Steve Jones

Steve Jones
I met Steve Jones at the St Marys refresh conference and soon discovered he was a good candidate for 10 Questions. He's planting a church out of one of the St Mary's church plants. That makes St Mary's a grandparent and Holy Trinity Brompton a great grandparent.

1. Tell me about your church plant?

I'm actually involved in two church plants. I work on the staff of the Network church in Exeter and I'm also involved in planting a church within Exeter Cathedral. For now it's called Night Church.

There's a move within the Anglican church to explore the possibility of “mission-shaped” Cathedrals.

Exeter Cathedral employs me one day a week to plant a church within the Cathedral as part of a multi congregational model of church. They have given me immense freedom.

Exeter Cathedral
2. What are your hopes?

It's still early days. I began in February 2007. What I would like to see happen is the combination an organic church with the experience of being church in a Cathedral.

What we want to do is merge an organic model of church and with the experience of doing church in a Cathedral. Some people see them as mutually exclusive. I don't.

3. How has it gone so far?

I'm basing the whole thing around the Jesus' model of ministry. I'm learning about how he recruited. a band of disciples and challenged them to “Come follow me.”

Our own band of disciples is coming together. We hang out together. I've also encouraged them to do the mission-shaped ministry course offered by Fresh Expressions.

My role is to recruit the team and to coach and mentor them as it comes together. Then to release them into ministry. So I'm currently looking for diverse team of missional followers of Jesus.

4. How does the relationship with the Cathedral work?

The key to success of the relationship is a Cathedral Dean with a vision. We have a great relationship. We also have a Diocesan Missioner on the cathedral staff who is really onside: Canon Mark Rylands.

5. What's your backgournd in church planting?

I was involved with Challenge 2000. There was so much expectation—a vision for 20,000 new churches in ten years. Then it didn't really fulfil these expectations. I always felt church planting is where it's at. Because it's establishing Christian communities long term that have a life of their own and can multiply. I had always felt it since I was a young Christian.

Had did you work through the disappointment after Challenge 2000?

I had to forgive some key leaders whose vision went beyond reality. I had to rethink a model of church planting that wasn't working. I had to reinvent myself for a new world.

6. What's been helpful on that journey?

Reading about mission has brought it all back to me. It's important to me to bring mission thinking home.

Roland Alan's Spontaneous Expansion of the Church was important. Leslie Newbigin and Vincent Donavan's Christianity Rediscovered.

There were also some leadership and business books: Tom Peters: Re-Imagine, Peter Drucker, Margaret Wheatley's Leadership and the New Science, Chaordic by Dee Hock.

7. What wasn't helpful?

During this time I moved towards a deconstructed ecclesiology: a view that the church is not the gathered congregation but the church is “out there” in the everyday world. I went too far. I ended up with a totally deconstructed view of the Church reflecting a rampant individualism. It was a lonely journey.

8. What do you do for fun?

That's easy, toy fighting with my four young children.

9. What are you reading?

Organic Church by Neil Cole

10. What do you want to be remembered for?

I want to leave behind some movements that I've helped to catalyse. I don't mind being forgotten as long as I see that legacy.

Steve Jones' blog can be found at: www.jonestribe.co.uk