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Fresh Expressions – what exactly is it?

~Jessica Cobb

A Fresh Expression (FX) is a form of church that is designed to reach those who might not typically attend a traditional church service. It is about taking ministry to people where they are already gathering, rather than attempting to attract people to your church’s gatherings. Fresh Expressions invite Christian disciples to gather with those already in their social circles and to ask “How can I help my friends connect with God?”.

Fresh Expressions can take many forms, from small groups meeting in homes to coffee shop gatherings to outdoor worship services. They are often led by laypeople who are passionate about connecting with others in their community. A Fresh Expression can build around a meal (Dinner Church) or around a common activity (imagine a Fresh Expression built around soccer, ultimate frisbee, video games, or yoga), and as relationships are built, they start to incorporate at least one element of discipleship, such as prayer or scripture reading.

What distinguishes Fresh Expressions from other church groups is that these are not gatherings of church members in outside spaces (a Bible study at Starbucks). These are groups of people from outside the church already gathered, and church members connected to those people and groups. One of the key benefits of Fresh Expression is that they allow churches to engage with people who might never set foot inside a church building. They provide an opportunity to meet people where they are at, and to build relationships and connections that can lead to deeper conversations about faith and spirituality.

Fresh Expressions are not intended to replace traditional forms of church. They are designed to reach people who are not currently being reached by traditional forms of church, and to create new opportunities for people to connect with God and with each other. 

As we continue to seek new ways to connect with our communities and to share the love of Christ, Fresh Expressions offer a different approach to consider. By going to where people are and starting this new form of church, we can build meaningful relationships that can transform lives. If you’d like to learn more about Fresh Expressions, or have ideas to start a Fresh Expression, contact your pastor or the district office.

Greater Southwest District