Exploring the Intersections of Faith and Life

Fresh Expressions

THURSDAY, JANUARY 15, 2009

Fresh Expressions – Does it open any doors for us?

I’ve been spending some time exploring a ministry called Fresh Expressions – a ministry of the Church of England the the United Methodist Church in England. It is an effort focused on creating what it calls ‘Fresh Expressions. We might call it church planting in a post-modern world. As I browse the site, though, I see lots that can be applicable to existing churches too, or at least existing churches that are trying to shift from having an inward focus to an outward focus (or “missional”), and to more empowered and committed ministry by church members.

For example, here is the general outline it has for anyone interested in starting a “Fresh Expressions” church:

* Get together with at least one other Christian. As you check whether your expectations are on the same page, hopefully a sense of shared call will emerge.
Getting together → a shared call

* Explore the possibilities through ‘360 degrees listening’ – to the people you may be called to serve, Christians you are close to, the experience of the wider church and to God directly in prayer and Bible study. Hopefully a vision for what to do will be confirmed or emerge.
Exploring possibilities → a shared vision

* Think ahead. Imagine how the venture might become church. What are the really important things you would need to do to make this happen? Might these become a statement of values?
Thinking ahead → shared values

* Organise support – prayer support, from the people you are called to serve, permission-givers and the wider public (eg, through good child protection and health and safety).
Organising support → a shared venture

* Nurture the team through appropriate training, making sure everyone is clear about their role and so on.
Nurturing the team → shared leadership

As you browse the site you’ll find lots of helpful information, ideas about process, and even some free training courses that you can use in your own church.

Check it out at:
http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/
http://www.sharetheguide.org/

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