The following is an excerpt from Becoming Church:  A Trail Guide for Starting Fresh Expressions. In the summer of 2007, my friends and I graduated from high school and piled into my 1967 Volkswagen Bus for a road trip through Maine that led us to Mt. Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The […]

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The church has moved online. And this year has taught us that some aspects of church are harder than others to practice on the internet. When I ask folks what they have missed most about church this past year it’s the fellowship, the relationships, the sense of life together. Rowan Williams notes, “Church is what […]

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While the first six months of the pandemic have been marked by churches discovering how to worship online, I believe the next six months will be marked by churches learning to create community online.

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In a blog post a few years back, I stated, “One of the greatest contributions of the Fresh Expressions movement is reinvigorating the conversation about what church actually is.” Over the past five years as a part of the fresh expressions movement I have constantly wrestled with the question, “What is church?” Can new forms […]

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“Our church wants to reach out to our neighbors, we just don’t know where to start.” Over the past five years, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this from church leaders across the country. Fresh Expressions has been inspiring a missionary movement in the United States since it came across “the […]

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Since the beginnings of the church’s history, table fellowship has been an essential aspect of the practice of hospitality and of welcoming the stranger.

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Luke Edwards says we can explore our communities with the same spiritual practices that deepen our understanding of God’s Word. He has adapted the practice of Lectio Divina as a tool for “reading” the neighborhood surrounding a church in a new, more prayerful way.

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Reaching out to the community has sparked a new energy in Snow Hill UMC. Pastor Johnston noted, “Sunday morning is on fire from the excitement of folks who thought we were dead, but now have hope.”

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Criticism and innovation go hand in hand. Enjoy it. Let it sharpen you. Everyone doesn’t need to approve of your fresh expression. After all, if we wanted to do something that pleases everyone we could sell ice cream.

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It meant a lot to me as a lay person to be in the Fresh Expressions training and feel like my ideas about starting something new were valid.

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