Tool for Church Health: Fresh Expressions

8/17/2017

“Fresh Expressions is one way to move out of the walls of the church and into our neighborhoods to incarnate the gospel of Jesus Christ for them,” Rev. Sherill Clontz explained as she introduced another Tool for Church Health to the 2017 North Alabama Conference.

She noted, “In the past we could just move into the neighborhood and put up a sign, and if the preaching was good and the programs were good people would just come to us. ... Times have changed.”

Fresh Expressions is a movement that began in the Church of England and moved to the United States. Rev. Clontz explained, that it is “a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.”

A congregation begins a Fresh Expression by listening to discover the desires and needs of their local community and developing relationship with the people around them.

Rev. Clontz highlighted the main difference in a Fresh Expression and other small groups a congregation may being is that a Fresh Expression has five main goals. They are

  • Reach people who do not currently attend church
  • Find appropriate ways of reaching people who may not be comfortable in our current ministry settings
  • Form disciples of Jesus Christ
  • Become a mature group who worships, celebrates sacraments, gives and serves together
  • Multiply

Watch the entire presentation below:

 

The 2017 North Alabama Conference emphasis was on Church Health – one of the four Conference priorities. Throughout the day on Monday of Annual Conference, Executive Director of Healthy Congregations Rev. Bob Alford was joined by local church leaders to highlight different tools available to help congregations grow healthier. For more information about church health resources contact the Healthy Congregations office at 205-226-7948 or email laura.belding@umcna.org or balford@umcna.org.


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