One of the most important things to understand about Fresh Expressions US is that it’s not about a product.
Instead, it’s about equipping Christians to follow the leading of the Spirit into God’s mission by cultivating fresh expressions of church. Really it’s about you. You are Fresh Expressions.
And so, your voice matters.
Perhaps the most important part of the Fresh Expressions US National Gathering (#FXNG if you were following on Facebook & Twitter) was the collection of stories we heard from real-life fresh expressions of church in both the UK and US. These voices communicated the heartbeat of what the Spirit is doing in our changing culture: renewing the church through fresh expressions of church born out of everyday people joining God’s mission. We heard a story about a cafe in England engaging young people who would normally be outsiders to the church (including a bit about Archbishop Rowan Williams blessing that fresh expression while sitting on a bean bag chair). We heard about a new church in urban Richmond, VA that was “reverse-planted” by a group of people who simply committed to live in the city and serve their neighbors faithfully. We got to watch some brilliant videos (soon to be released) about other cafes, play groups, and gaming clubs that are serving their community while becoming church for the people they serve. It was brilliant.
Dudley Parr shares the story of Uncommon Grounds Cafe in Alquippa, PA.
In addition to the stories coming from the stage and screen, I had the opportunity to roam the crowd a bit to hear even more stories and perspectives about fresh expressions of church. Take a look:
The point is, your voice is invaluable to this conversation.
And we need to hear it.
Zach Hoag is Social Media Manager for Fresh Expressions US. He lives in Burlington, Vermont.
Zach J. Hoag is a church planter and missional minister from the least religious city in the least religious state in the U.S. – Burlington, Vermont. He wrote a book called Nothing but the Blood: The Gospel According to Dexter, and he blogs at zhoag.com. Most importantly, he binge-watches cable TV dramas and plays in the snow with his family.