Fresh Expressions of Church
Growing the Church is the official link between Fresh Expressions of Church and ACSA, and the Revd Gordon Crowther serves as the FX team leader.
Sometime ago, Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, called for a ‘mixed economy’ of church that includes both traditional and fresh forms of church: “Celebrating and building on what is mission-shaped in traditional forms of church and finding ways to proclaim the Gospel afresh to those who do not relate to traditional ways.” And thus the seeds for the Fresh Expression of Church movement were planted.
What is a fresh expression of church? A fresh expression (FX) is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. By developing new, flexible, creative and culturally appropriate ways to proclaim the Gospel afresh to those who do not relate to church in traditional ways, a fresh expression of church comes into being through the principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and discipleship making. It sheds the mindset of the come-to-us type of approach and says instead, ‘we’ll enter your culture and come to you, and together we’ll be the church’. As it grows into maturity, a fresh expression of church will be shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church, and it will be well-suited for its cultural context.
The Mission-Shaped Ministry course is a year-long training program that teaches people how to plant a fresh expression church. The Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Dutch Reformed Church, the Uniting Reformed Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church and the Vineyard Fellowship have come together to make MSM available in South Africa, and the course is becoming a significant resource for building the Kingdom of God in our corner of the world. If you are a church leader–clergy or laity–and are passionate about establishing a new community or congregation for people who have never been involved in church or for people who have left the church, then prayerfully consider taking the Mission-Shaped Ministry course. To find a MSM course near you or to find out more about Fresh Expressions in South Africa, please visit the South Africa Fresh Expression of Church webpage.
If you have any questions about Fresh Expression of Church or the Mission-Shaped Ministry course, please contact Growing the Church. You can also call us at +27 21 763 1315.