Is your church the “kind of church” that starts a fresh expression? The answer might surprise you!

Fresh Expressions are forms of church that are grown for and with those who do not currently go to church. In these two videos, Heather and Kris explore how different churches, with a variety of size, age and even streams of the Christian tradition, can start a fresh expression.

Big, Small, Old and New

According to Pastor and Pioneer Heather Jallad, all kinds of churches can start fresh expressions of church can start a new community that reaches people who have no Christian community. She gives four examples of different types of churches and what drives them to start something new.

Why Large Churches Start Fresh Expressions

Large churches often start fresh expressions of church because they have a large, faithful congregation and resources to support the mission.

Why Small Churches Start Fresh Expressions

Small churches can also start fresh expressions of church. A congregation of five mature adults is one example of a small church that started a fresh expression and multiplied the mission of God.

Why Old Churches Start Fresh Expressions

Centuries-old churches can start fresh expressions of church and bring their rich tradition and legacy of faith to life in new and exciting ways.

Why New Churches Start Fresh Expressions

New churches that are part of the DNA of the community can start fresh expressions of church. They are often very engaged in the community and have a prime opportunity to start fresh expressions of church.

Size and Style Don’t Matter

It might be easy to assume that Fresh Expressions are about size (something big churches have the capacity to do) or style (something “fancy” churches have a tendency to do.) According to Fresh Expressions mission strategist Kris Beckert, the reality is much different.

Any church can start a fresh expression of church, regardless of its size or worship style. From large churches to small ones, the capacity to launch and do what God has called them to do is present in each.

How a Large Church Started a Dinner Church

In a large church context, it is possible to gather a team of people with different gifts and skills to start a fresh expression of church. An example of this is a dinner church that was started at a local elementary school. The church formed a partnership with the principal and guidance counselor and provided a family dinner and a craft activity as a way to extend hope and grace to families and children.

How a Small Church is Partnering

A smaller church can also reach out into its community and start a fresh expression of church. The small church that Kris leads is currently in the process of starting a dinner church and exploring the possibility of starting a gaming ministry as a fresh expression of church.

The efforts to start these fresh expressions of church are led by a handful of passionate individuals who have caught the vision for fresh expressions by visiting other fresh expressions in the community.

What Holds Churches Back?

Perhaps a better question is, what kinds of churches do not start fresh expressions? Or what holds a church back from trying new things?

Fresh expressions are often the fruit of churches who have a “gift of desperation.” That is, they have a tangible need for things to change. This need could come from numerical decline or a unique sense of calling.

Perhaps the inverse is true, that churches who do not feel a “gift of desperation” aren’t ready to start something new because they are happy with their current reality. These churches may not need to reach new people, because they live in an area where institutional churches are still central to life in their city or region. Or, they may already have a strong sense of who they are called to reach, and they are working hard to remain faithful to their task.

The sad reality is that church affiliation is on a decline in North America, as it has long been in Europe. Even in rural North America, which has always been known for the centrality of church life, is seeing a rise in disaffiliation.

If you don’t currently feel a strong need for a new approach to church, you likely will in the future.

What’s Holding Your Church Back?

No matter what size or age your church may be, you can start something new. Is something holding you back? If so, take a moment to pray for clarity about the situation and courage to take the next step.

If you know God is calling you to do something, but you don’t know where start, we want to help! You can download this free eBook to explore how anyone can start a fresh expression.

If your congregation or denomination is interested in starting a fresh expression or even launching a movement of fresh expressions, we want to help. Hosting a Vision Day or another similar event is a great first step to helping others get on board with this dream.

Or simply contact us, and we’ll find a resource that will benefit you.

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