We’re pleased to announce our first book From the Steeple to the Street: Innovating Mission and Ministry through Fresh Expressions of Church is now available for pre-order! Get it here as an e-Book, pre-ordered here, and in bulk. It will also be available at the Fresh Expressions National Gathering.
You can get a taste with a free sample chapter here.
Who Should Read From the Steeple to the Street
I have attempted, in From the Steeple to the Street, to write for vocational ministers and lay leaders who long for their churches to join God in His mission to the world. I also had in mind those “pioneers” who sense a divine call to actually begin something new for the sake of those who are, to quote Ephesians 2:12, “without hope and without God in the world.” Anyone with a heart for God’s mission should find this book helpful.
Of course a book ought to have a target audience, and this one does. The bullseye of that target is the leader of the local church or denominational entity who…
- realizes that better music, better programs and better facilities aren’t going to help many people come to faith in Jesus
- knows people who are unlikely ever to walk through the doors of any church
- is not satisfied with attracting Christ-followers from other congregations
- would love to launch some creative, missional work, yet understands that local congregations need some preparatory work before even considering such
…and is at a loss as to what to do.
I attempted to write a book that is academically responsible yet practicable; I’ve sought to provide a real-world guidebook for the planting of fresh expressions of church. I could not speak of this global missions undertaking without weighing in on foundational matters, however. Therefore, the book provides an ecclesiological, theological, and missiological framework for the movement known as Fresh Expressions.
Others will certainly write about particular aspects of this movement. Perhaps they will devote an entire volume to the theology of Fresh Expressions, discipleship in these new forms of church, or other important related topics. From the Steeple to the Street is intended as a comprehensive introduction to this international, missionary movement.
Why Should People Read From the Steeple to the Street?
Any movement titled “Fresh Expressions” is bound to provoke questions. After all, there is a cat litter called Fresh Expressions and a line of candles called Fresh Expressions. So what is a fresh expression of church, for crying out loud?
From the Steeple to the Street answers that question. This is more, however, than a book about the Fresh Expressions movement. It’s a book about followers of Jesus being willing to move beyond the walls and traditions of their churches to engage people who are almost certainly never going to walk through the doors of any church. The Fresh Expressions movement, however, and this book in particular, do provide ideas and direction for people who sense a prompting from God’s Spirit to do something, but who don’t know what to do!
If people wonder about the theological soundness of this missional movement, if they wonder about what makes up a church, if they genuinely want to be part of an effort to take the church Jesus loves closer to where the people Jesus loves actually are, or if they simply have heard of “fresh expressions” and don’t know that that means, then this book will be a great help.
Reading this book in a group of people who care deeply for people who are far from God should be a particularly inspiring experience. To wrestle with others over the question of spiritual lostness, to re-think church “from the ground up,” to prayerfully consider together whether God is nudging us into affinity groups to do church with, of and for new people, could be the spiritual adventure of a lifetime. This book can inspire a wonderful group experience.
Whether in a circle of friends or as an individual, this book offers an interesting combination of learning and inspiration for those who have a heart for people “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
Travis Collins is Pastor of First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Alabama, and Director of Mission Advancement for Fresh Expressions US. He holds a PhD in Christian Mission and is the author of From the Steeple to the Street and Fresh Expressions of Church.