Fresh Expressions of Church
Over the past decade churches have realised the need to do church in a way which is culturally relevant. This is not to decry traditional forms of church and worship but simply to recognise that we live in a country which has ‘stopped coming to church’. Therefore the demands on Sunday nade by alternative activities like shopping, sport, leisure activities and family visits mean that for many, church can be seen as an intrusion into their normal life. On the other hand, people are finding that this new, relaxed attitude to life leaves a void within them. They are still ‘spiritual seekers’ and miss the family bonding which used to take place in society.
This is why we are doing church on days other than Sunday and why Messy Church is so popular. It;s great to see the whole family worshipping together for the whole time rather than watching as the children are trooped off to Sunday School after the second hymn.
The quest for spirituality is explored using different styles of worship. Taize and Celtic worship are more prevelant and new monastic styles of being church are emerging.
I co-chair the Fresh Expressions Area Strategy Team (FEAST) with Rev. Canon Michael Mitton. The FEAST is there to advise, equip and resource people involved with Fresh Expressions of Church and thosse who would like to get involved. From time to time we organise regional events and forums with guest speakers on different aspects of the Fresh Expressions movement. One of the primary concerns of people involved with Fresh Expressions of Church is discipleship.
From time to time we organise and run courses or events specifically aimed at those wishing to advance their knowledge and understanding of Fresh Expressions of Church. These are:-
Vision Days – normally a Saturday, these days are led by the national Fresh Expressions Core Team – this is a taster into what Fresh Expressions is all about
Mission Shaped INTRO (MSI) – 6 week course which looks deeper into the thinking behind Fresh Expressions with lots of examples of creative ways of engaging with those outside of church in a contemporary manner
Mission Shaped Ministry (MSM) – a year log course for those intentional about starting or supporting Fresh Expressions of Church
Regional Forums – evening or day events which look at a specific aspect of Fresh Expressions, usually with a guest speaker.
Fresh Expressions seeks to transform communities and individuals through championing, resourcing and multiplying new ways of being church. We work with Christians from a broad range of denominations and traditions and the movement has resulted in thousands of new congregations being formed alongside more traditional churches.
Pioneer ministry in the Methodist Church.
Christianity.org.uk is the website of the Christian Enquiry Agency Ltd. This is an agency of Churches Together in England.