• authentic =
  • Wrestling = (a place for) (not being told answers but on a journey) – process of conversation. Handed down faith is not enough – Questioning is empowering for faith.
  • liturgy = literlly the work of the people… a structure or order for a worship service
  • church = community of faith
  • relevant = (not a compartmentalized life not true in cotempary culture)
    • FASLE: what i do on friday saturday night doesn’t effect what i do on Sunday morning …


  • stright from Solomon’s Porch – (Minneapolis, MN)
    • Holistic: Understanding that all areas of life are connected, including faith, time, family, work, body, money, intellect, et al.
    • Missional: Our belief is that God intends Christianity be a way of life which sends us into the world to serve God and our neighbors, so that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. The church is never to be the withdrawn or isolated end user of the gospel of Jesus; rather, we receive it so that we may be equipped and sent into the world to love our neighbors and serve “the least of these.” In this sense, Solomon’s Porch doesn’t have a mission; it is mission.
    • Christian: As Christians we see ourselves as a growing people who are learning to live life with God in the way of Jesus. We represent a generous orthodoxy, rooted in the Scriptures and consistent with the ancient creeds of the church
    • Community: Desiring to share life with one another in a way that we become a living, breathing, local expression of the global, historical body of Christ.

A definition of alternative worship
by Steve Collins 2005
(Straight from – wonderful resource (Best of the best)

  • Christians reinventing faith expression for themselves within their own cultural settings
  • a response to postmodern Western society and cultural change
  • faith expression within culture not in a parallel ‘Christian’ culture
  • reconsideration of all inherited church forms and structures, including recent modernising ones
  • rediscovery of ancient and alternative Christian traditions as resources for the present and future
  • paradigm shift from centralised into networked forms of church


  • not intended to transition people into existing forms of church
  • not an attempt to reach particular social or cultural groups
  • not about making Christianity appear cool or fashionable
  • not a restyling of existing forms and structures


  • beginning UK late 1980s
  • established Australia/New Zealand by mid 1990s
  • emerging in USA/Canada/Europe since 2000


  • a diverse network of individuals and small groups, practitioners and theorists
  • no single centre or authority
  • no single theological position or statement of beliefs but mostly within Christian orthodoxy
  • sometimes working within existing church structures, sometimes forming separate churches
  • crossing denominational and theological boundaries, even within single groups
  • high levels of friendship and exchange of ideas throughout movement
  • loose structures, little hierarchy
  • no fixed leadership or fixed roles
  • many of the people in positions of influence or leadership are not ordained or church employees


  • authenticity – faith expression that truly represents the people who make and take part in it
  • faith as journey, to be facilitated rather than controlled
  • giving people space for their own encounter with God
  • an exploration of creativity – in everyone, not just a gifted few
  • risk-taking, experimental – openness to failure and mistakes
  • holistic – life not divided into sacred and secular
  • any part of our lives and abilities as potential material for faith expression
  • participation – involvement encouraged, passive consumption discouraged
  • minimal exclusion – shaped by whoever gets involved
  • consensus – not one person imposing their direction
  • low threshold of permission – in general if you want to do something go ahead
  • high quality, as good as we can make it – culturally aware
  • awareness of ourselves as part of God’s creation, and a concern for its welfare
  • the entire expression of the faith community seen as ‘church’ not just one event
  • reluctance to draw boundaries that determine who or what is in or out of God’s kingdom
  • openness to God’s presence in any area of life or culture

How an event is made:

  • events generally planned around a chosen theme
  • everything that happens communicates aspects of theme
  • no fixed or obligatory elements
  • almost anything permitted if it communicates
  • shape of event worked out in group
  • individuals take pieces of the event to do
  • event comes together on the day without rehearsal, in accordance to the shape agreed during planning
  • high level of trust in people’s ability to deliver appropriate content
  • events not restricted to conventional church timetables or venues

What usually happens:

  • event led by many people not one or two
  • relaxed, informal
  • congregation are active participants
  • discussions – small groups or whole congregation
  • rituals and liturgies – ancient eg Holy Communion or newly created
  • moving around the space
  • interaction with installations and artworks
  • periods when people can do different things at the same time
  • learning by exploration and interaction, not located in a single ‘teaching’ slot

What usually doesn’t happen:

  • sermons or didactic teaching
  • sitting in one place all the time
  • worship bands, choirs or organs
  • one person at the front directing everything
  • Powerpoint presentations

New forms of church environment:

  • no pews or rows of seats
  • no pulpit
  • no stage
  • non-directional space – no front to face, things happen all around
  • soft seating, beanbags, sit or lie on floor
  • cafe spaces – chairs and tables, sofas, food and drink
  • intimate lighting – spotlights, candles, TVs, projections
  • installations and artworks
  • ambient music – as background to everything including speech and prayer
  • ambient video – relevant to event content but not attention-grabbing
  • creative use of available technology and media, including from home or work
  • technology and media used as environment or art as well as presentation tools
  • venue may not be existing church building