A wave of new Christian churches are emerging to reach unchurched and dechurched people who live in a culture that is increasingly non-religious and multi-religious. These new forms of church gather and network with people who typically have never been to church. The new faith communities listen to people and go where they are on the journey toward Jesus. They are deeply ecumenical but do not lose their distinctiveness because they learn fresh ways to communicate their identity through discipleship.
Fresh Expressions began in the United Kingdom where it ignited over 3000 new faith communities. In the United States the movement is putting down roots in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Ken Carter and Audrey Warren offer this book as a group study for church leaders and congregations who are in the grip of Holy Spirit motivation to renew their tradition by reaching people who are dechurched or not yet in a discipleship relationship with Jesus.
Each chapter includes two Bible study experiences for group conversation.
“I have been an observer of and cheerleader for the Fresh Expressions movement … from the beginning, and I’ve lamented how slow US congregations have been to welcome and adapt this movement for our setting. Now, as an admirer and ally of the United Methodist mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, I am thrilled to see Fresh Expressions gaining this hearing in United Methodism in the United States. May thousands of congregations be inspired and equipped by Audrey Warren and Kenneth Carter’s new book!” – Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
“I was most fortunate to have Ken Carter and Audrey Warren as my guides as we explored Fresh Expressions of Church all across England. Now you are fortunate enough to have them lead you on a similar journey through the pages of this book. I hope you will be as excited as I was to find Church as I always dreamed it could be, moving outside the walls of sanctuaries and radically following the Holy Spirit’s lead to new spaces and new people. This is the Church of Acts and the early Methodists. I hope it is also the Church of the twenty-first century. Enjoy your journey!” –Sue Haupert-Johnson, Resident Bishop of the North Georgia Episcopal Area, The United Methodist Church
“If you’ve felt God calling your church into a new kind of mission but you haven’t been sure how to go about it — this book is a great place to start. Get ready for a dose of hope.” —Kenda Creasy Dean, Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church and Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary
“This book is an essential group study for United Methodists who are serious about God’s mission. Well researched, clearly written, and insightful, this volume includes carefully developed Bible studies and reflection questions for every chapter. —Elaine A. Heath, dean, Duke Divinity School
“I owe my spiritual life to a group of pioneer missionaries who followed Jesus into my world. Fresh Expressions is a new way to do this.” —Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor, Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation
“Marvelous stuff! Pray God this timely book, with its readable and inspirational content and Bible studies, finds its way into the hearts, minds, and decisions of every congregation in every conference!” —Martyn Atkins, former General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Britain
“The traditional church should not fear the loss of their traditions in fresh expressions of church, but rather find hope that their traditions can be passed down to generations to come.” – Luke S. Edwards (http://www.lukesedwards.com)