Newfrontiers

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For the NASA space program, see New Frontiers program.
Newfrontiers
Newfrontierslogo.jpg
Founded 1979
Founder Terry Virgo
Type Reformed Charismatic Church Network
Location
Area served Worldwide
Members 800+ churches
Slogan A worldwide family of churches together on a mission
Website Official website
Registered Charity number: 1060001

Newfrontiers (previously New Frontiers International) is a neocharismatic apostolic network of evangelical, charismatic churches founded by Terry Virgo. It forms part of the British New Church Movement, which began in the late 50s and 60s combining features of Pentecostalism with British evangelicalism.[1] Other streams of the British New Church Movement with which it shares some features include Together, Ministries Without Borders, and Life-Links. Groups like Pioneer, Ichthus Christian Fellowship, and Vineyard are more distantly related. Newfrontiers is a rapidly growing movement with over 700 churches representing more than 60 nations worldwide to date.[2] Newfrontiers describes itself as "an international family of churches together on a mission to establish the Kingdom of God by restoring the church, making disciples, training leaders and planting churches." Its theology is distinctively Reformed. Newfrontiers is committed to building churches according to "New Testament principles." One of the slogans of the movement has been "changing the expression of Christianity around the world," which is based on a prophecy given by Paul Cain (the Latter Rain revivalist) to the movement in 1990.[3][4]

New Addington Community Church is a Newfrontiers congregation in suburban London.

Participation[edit]

Every Newfrontiers church has its own unique approach to participatory worship, but most commonly, anyone wishing to contribute during corporate worship must first share it with the leader of the meeting. If it is considered to be potentially beneficial to the whole church body, any worship music being played will subside for a moment, and the individual can address the congregation. In other Newfrontiers churches the expectation is that members of the congregation will speak out if they feel they have received an idea, message (mental) image or verse of Scripture no prior approval is required or expected. Regular members of the congregation claim that repeatedly, such images, messages etc., turn out to be particularly relevant to the topic that is later preached in the service. Others claim that specific questions or advice they sought has been answered via this process.[citation needed]

Bible weeks[edit]

The logo used for the Stoneleigh Bible Weeks

In the early days of the movement a bible week called "The Downs" was held at Plumpton race course each year. This was replaced by "Stoneleigh Bible Week" which was held at the National Agricultural Centre showground. After the Stoneleigh bible week was stopped a number of smaller more regional events were started such as "North Camp" which is held in the North of England near Teesside. This predominantly serves churches in the north of the UK churches from all over the country, Wales, Scotland and as far afield as Canada attend.[citation needed] After running for 10 years "North Camp" will not be running after the 2013 event to be held over August bank holiday. Newday is a major youth event that takes place in the heart of the nation, with thousands of young people between the ages of 12 and 19.[5]

Everything Conference[edit]

Everything Conference
Everything Conference.png
Founded 2010
Type Christian conference
Location
Owner Newfrontiers
Key people Matthew Hosier, David Stroud, Jeremy Simpkins
Website EverythingConference.org

The Everything Conference was an annual one day Christian conference held in the UK by the Newfrontiers family of churches.[6] The conference was held in London, and focused on cultural transformation.[7]

The conference borrowed its name from the verse in the Bible "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it."[Ps 24:1].[7][8]

Leadership[edit]

In each local church leadership is expressed in a plurality of local (male) elders (though generally one of the elders takes a leading or senior role), often with multiple staff. The raising and training of local leaders to run cell groups (often now called "life groups", "small groups" or "home groups"), worship teams and other ministries is seen as a priority. Newfrontiers ran an annual international leaders conference where thousands of church leaders[citation needed] came from around the world to gather for a mix of Bible teaching and lively worship services. This conference in Brighton ran concurrently with Mobilise for students and Christians in their 20s and attracted, in total, over 4,000 people a year[citation needed] including people from other denominations. The combination of these two events was called Together On A Mission.[citation needed].

In 2011 Terry Virgo handed over leadership to a score of leaders worldwide, each of whom is described as being "free to develop his own strategies, training programs, and gospel advance",[9] marking a significant shift to a much less centralised movement.

Theology[edit]

Complementarianism[edit]

All Newfrontiers churches hold to a complementarian position on gender similar to that promoted by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. This means that women are not allowed to occupy positions of governmental leadership within the local (or wider network of) churches, such as eldership or apostolic ministries. Women do, however, hold positions in almost every other area in the church and are encouraged to do so.[10]

Homosexuality[edit]

Like many branches and movements within Christianity, Newfrontiers believes that homosexual sex is a sin, but does not condone homophobia. There have been claims that at least one Newfrontiers church has attempted to "cure" gay people, though these have been strongly disputed.[11]

Spiritual strongholds[edit]

A book by leading Newfrontiers personality David Devonish on "spiritual warfare"—praised by Terry Virgo as a text that "will help to fortify every believer intent on winning this battle"—defines spiritual warfare as

The reality that the advance of the gospel and the building of the church involve us in attacking and experiencing counter-attack in relation to real cosmic forces of darkness under the control of Satan who is also described as the god of this world.[12]

The book argues that people can suffer from "intergenerational curses", "demonic possession", and the like, and offers ways to confront such alleged phenomena.[11]

Responses[edit]

Nigel Wright believes that Newfrontiers and other British restorationists are claiming too much when they speak of "restoring the church."[13]

In 1986, sociologist and church historian Andrew Walker wrote of Newfrontiers that "churches are far more centralised and controlled than those of (...) mainline charismatic fellowships... The situation seems slightly analogous to Japanese business practices: they… export with great success, but import virtually nothing from anybody else".[14]

In April 2009, the Journal of Beliefs and Values published an article reporting on a 2007 study which "set out to examine the psychological type profile of Lead Elders within the Newfrontiers network of churches in the United Kingdom and to compare this profile with the established profile of clergymen in the Church of England". One of the conclusions:

There is a toughness about this style of leadership that is unlikely to be distracted by opposition. The disadvantage is that this style of leadership can leave some individuals hurt and marginalised for what is seen by the leadership as the overall benefit to the organisation.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Andrew (1984), Martin, David; Mullen, Peter, eds., Strange Gifts? A Guide to Charismatic Renewal, Oxford: Blackwell, p. 214 
  2. ^ New frontiers together (official site), retrieved 22 December 2008 
  3. ^ Kay, William K (2007), Apostolic Networks in Britain: New Ways of Being Church, Milton Keynes: Paternoster, p. 260 
  4. ^ You tube, Google 
  5. ^ http://newdaygeneration.org/about-us
  6. ^ Everything Conference, Everything Conference, retrieved 2013-07-03 
  7. ^ a b eNews Report, UK: Newfrontiers, May 2010, retrieved 2010-05-10 
  8. ^ Everything, New frontiers together, January 2010, retrieved 2010-05-10 
  9. ^ The History of Newfrontiers, Terry Virgo, retrieved 2013-08-13 
  10. ^ Value 8, "Our seventeen values", Together (New frontiers) .
  11. ^ a b Jamie Doward; Cal Flyn; Richard Rogers (2 May 2010), "Rising Tory star Philippa Stroud ran prayer sessions to 'cure' gay people", The Observer (London), retrieved 6 September 2013 
  12. ^ Devonish, David (2013), Demolishing Strongholds (Revised ed.), Milton Keynes: Authentic Publishing, ISBN 978-1-860-24371-4 
  13. ^ Wright, Nigel (1986), The Radical Kingdom: Restoration in Theory and Practice, Kingsway: Eastbourne, pp. 118–9 .
  14. ^ Walker, Andrew (1986), Restoring the Kingdom: the Radical Christianity of the House Church Movement (2nd ed.), London: Hodder & Stoughton, pp. 317–8 .
  15. ^ Francis, Leslie J; Gubb, Sean; Robbins, Mandy (2009), "Psychological type profile of Lead Elders within the Newfrontiers network of churches in the United Kingdom", Journal of Beliefs & Values 30 (1): 61–9, doi:10.1080/13617670902784568 .

Further reading[edit]

  • Fleming, John (2007), Bind Us Together: To Be the Church That Jesus Really Wants, Seaford: Thankful, ISBN 978-1-905084-15-9 .
  • Hosier, John (2005), Christ's Radiant Church, Oxford: Monarch Books, ISBN 978-1-85424-700-1 .
  • Virgo, Terry, The Spirit-Filled Church: Finding Your Place in God's Purpose, ISBN 0-857-21049-1 .
  • Virgo, Terry (2001), No Well-Worn Paths, Eastbourne: Kingsway, ISBN 0-85476-990-0 .
  • Walker, Andrew (1998), Restoring the Kingdom: the Radical Christianity of the House Church Movement (4th ed.), Guildford: Eagle, ISBN 0-340-41470-7 .

External links[edit]