Greenhouse ethos

Greenhouse is designed to create the right kind of space so that people can come together as teams and have great conversations, which enable them to join in with God's Spirit in the creative process of growing fresh expressions of church.

Here are the 10 practices that shape what we do:

1. Be part of a team

We appreciate that when you’re starting up sometimes it's just one person’s idea. The first step is to find some others to pray and dream with, as you imagine how to be Good News in your neighbourhood.

2. Be ready to learn

Greenhouse is a Community of Practice, or Learning Community - people call it either, but in reality it's both! It’s a community of practitioners (people doing the work of mission in their neighbourhoods) who are learning together. We don’t teach you how to do it, we point you to resources that will help you at the stage you are at - we call this just-in-time learning.

3. Be yourself

As a Community of Practice, or Learning Community, Greenhouse is not a course run by experts or a workshop where you learn content - it's about getting to a place of 'wiser action'. In other words, it's not about following a prescribed route but instead it's about discerning the path to take together. It's a conversation in which we need every voice, because the wisdom is in the room.

4. Be supportive

In Greenhouse we are committed to valuing one another. We aren’t looking to experts but instead recognise that we each have lots to learn from those in the room, as well as lots to contribute from our own experience and skills. We commit to supporting each other in between gatherings to create a hope-filled Community of Practice, because relationships take time and need investing in regularly.

5. Be focused

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Do not go where the path may lead, but go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." For the past 20 years pioneers have been leaving a trail - and all the learning we’ve done has created the ‘Listening First Missional Journey’, which has different phases in the development of a fresh expression. This is the map for our journey in Greenhouse.

Pictured: The 'Loving First Missional Journey'


An image of the Greenhouse Loving First Missional Journey, depicted using an image of a tree


6. Be open

In growing fresh expressions we are committed to being open to what God is doing in a community and joining in, rather than assuming how God would work and setting out to create something we’ve seen elsewhere. This can be challenging but it's also an adventure, as our understanding and experience of God is deepened. In Greenhouse we are committed to being reflective, open to changing our minds and willing to learn. We follow the example of Jesus: asking questions, being curious and opening ourselves to people who are different from us.

7. Be present

As we lead our fresh expression of church we need to be continually noticing, paying attention and being present to God and the people around us. We call this phase of the journey ‘Listening’ and we express this in our gatherings by honouring everyone - whether they are in our team or from another team - with our attention, listening to them and for them. 

8. Be creative

Even if your fresh expression ends up looking a bit like others - for instance if you are setting up a messy church - it will be new and unique because it has never existed in your community before. By listening to God and your people and place, you will have the foundation for creating a new community of disciples. You will need to dream, imagine and create together.

9. Be supported

The hosts of your Greenhouse are there to support you - both at the gatherings and in between. They will be able to guide you to resources, network you with others and, if needed, get you connected to a fresh expressions mentor who can help you if you get stuck.

10. Be excited!

Being part of a Greenhouse will mean you are connected to like-minded people who also care about their communities and want to find ways to connect people to the Good News. Growing your fresh expression will be a great adventure and they’ll be with you every step of the way!


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