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Practitioner Learning Community: North Carolina

Price includes participation in both retreats, food, training materials and a book, 6 months of coaching circles in between the retreats, webinars, FREE TICKET to the Fresh Expressions National Gathering 2018 and more! Find out more about the National Gathering at www.freshexpressions.org/FXNG2018

Practitioners are mission entrepreneurs who have the stirrings to go beyond existing church communities to engage in life and ministry with people, fostering fresh expressions of church that connect with those uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the inherited church.

Fresh Expressions Practitioner Learning Communities are part-time, learning communities designed to:

  • Assist teams who want to launch fresh expressions of church
  • Help pastors and lay-leaders create Fresh Expressions strategies for their communities and neighborhoods
  • Surround practitioners with a network of fellow sojourners and practitioners of missional ministry

Over the course of several months, Practitioner cohorts meet for two weekend retreats, monthly connection, and support through coaching. Teams and individuals discern and implement intentional steps toward developing fresh expressions of church appropriate to their unique contexts. Each practitioner is welcomed into an on-going peer learning network upon completion of the learning community.

Using the Mission-Shaped Ministry curriculum first developed in the UK as a framework, Practitioner Learning Communities dig into the theological foundations of Fresh Expressions, the practices that lead to contextually appropriate ministry, attentiveness to authentic discipleship, tools for developing teams and leaders, and the steps to forming meaningful expressions of church within a particular mission context.

What can you expect at the first retreat?

A team of trainers will facilitate two days of exploring the development of fresh expressions. Through presentations, action-reflection activities, and facilitated table conversations, the trainers will guide practitioners to be intentional about ministry that is contextual, missional, formational and ecclesial. Topics covered include: biblical foundations, the process of development, the priority of listening, prayer walking, vision, design thinking, discipleship in a fresh expression, and team development.

What can you expect between retreats?
Each practitioner will be placed in a coaching circle of 4 to 6 practitioners, and coaching sessions will occur monthly. Coaching supports practitioners in the ongoing forming and shaping of their fresh expression initiatives and strategies. In addition, practitioners will receive training modules on missional values and funding.

What can you expect at the second retreat?
The same team of trainers will re-gather with practitioners for two days of continued learning together. Participants will hear from each other how their ministries have been unfolding. Training topics covered include: leadership, evangelism in a fresh expression, moving from building community to discipleship, worship in a fresh expression, dealing with failure along the way, and staying strong.

  • Retreat 1: January 26-27, 2018
  • Retreat 2: September 21-22, 2018

For any additional questions related to the Practitioner Learning Community, please email: 

Luke Edwards, Fresh Expressions Coordinator, Western North Carolina Conference of the UMC – Luke.Edwards @FreshExpressionsUS.org

Fresh Expressions US, Coordinator of Operations & Communications: Sarah.Keasler@FreshExpressionsUS.org

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