Churches find themselves in a rugged wilderness on the outskirts of culture.
At the same time, a movement is emerging from the missional edges of our oldest denominations and is working its way through the church as a whole. Thousands of fresh expressions of church are gathering with their post-Christian neighbors, embarking on a journey to follow Jesus together.
Luke Edwards will introduce you to a way through the wilderness, a lightly worn path walked by everyday people who are building communities and becoming church.
This book should come with the following warning: “Reading this book and acting on what you have read will prove hazardous to your institutional, culturally domesticated way of being church.” Read it anyway. It will quicken your yearning to build community with unlikely people with “Jesus at the center.” You just might become church.
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer
Resident Bishop of the Ohio West Conference of The United Methodist Church
In this wonderful little handbook, we find the perfect blend of solid research, personal narratives, and practical guidance for anyone who is on the path to develop a new faith community that is a Fresh Expression. I am happy to recommend this treasure to church planters and mentees, and will be using it as required reading for courses I teach about developing new faith communities.
Elaine A. Heath, PhD
President, Neighborhood Seminary
You know those National Park Service maps? The ones that include photos, history, best hiking routes rated according to difficulty, services, average weather conditions, info about flora and fauna, and more? That’s what Becoming Church is like. Luke Edwards doesn’t just draw us a map for starting fresh expressions, he fills his trail guide with snapshots, interesting facts, degrees of difficulty, and lots of intriguing side-tracks along the way. This is a highly readable, ready-to-implement guide, written by someone who has helped launch hundreds of fresh expressions.
Morling College, Sydney
If one desires to discover the new trails of how to start fresh expressions in their backyard, or anywhere in the USA, you will find that Becoming Church is the book to get your feet going on the right path.
In his book, Luke guides you through all phases of the innovative progression of Fresh Expressions from start to completion. And he does so with such exquisite, adventurous spirit and with an excellent array of academic guides whom you can converse with on your journey!
Rev. Dr. Eliseo A. Mejia
Senior Pastor of Paris First UMC, National Director of Expresiones Divinas (FX-US), Church-Planting Leader, and Missiologist
Luke Edwards embodies the humble, thoughtful leadership so many of us crave today. He recenters the church in its most essential values of cultivating real community and offering a healing space for members. Readers will find Luke’s perspective refreshing and his writing equally graceful and accessible.
Partner at People & Company and Co-Author of Get Together
With the dawn of a post-COVID new wineskin reality, Becoming Church is a needed contribution and practical guide for those determined not to return to the church of old.
Author of The Tangible Kingdom, Flesh, and AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church
The beauty of Becoming Church is how approachable and practical it is. Here is a model for starting new Christian communities independent of big egos and budgets. A model for ordinary people like you and me. Luke is clear and direct in communicating his vision for starting expressions of church that reach those who otherwise would not find their way to established congregations. Read this, and then get started.
Missioner for Missional Communities, Episcopal Diocese of Texas
Luke Edwards is the Associate Director of Church Development for the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and a trainer for Fresh Expressions US. He was the founding pastor of King Street Church, a network of fresh expressions in Boone, NC.
Between his upbringing and his work in local, regional, and national levels of the Fresh Expressions movement, Luke has a unique perspective into how creating micro communities can offer a path for the future of the church in a post- Christian society. He lives in Huntersville, North Carolina, where he enjoys going for walks in the woods with his wife and daughter. His blog and podcast can be found at www.faithfulcommunity.com.