The Fresh Expressions Journey: Doing It Again
Creating space for new possibilities through multiplication and the empowerment of leaders
The end of the Fresh Expressions Journey brings you back to the beginning! In the process of cultivating a fresh expression of church and discipling members, leadership shifts from those initial adventurers into the hands of local people at the heart of the community. New adventurers learn from the successes of others and bring that knowledge back to their communities in order to adapt their methods for their context. And it’s then that we see new Fresh Expressions emerge and evolve.
With Fresh Expressions, the dissemination of leadership creates potential for multiplication. New leaders take hold of the reigns as adventurers explore new possibilities. Mentorship produces passionate people who are equipped to begin the Fresh Expressions Journey themselves. We look to early Christian movements in history and in Scripture as examples of multiplication through new forms of church and the importance of contextualization.
The goal of Fresh Expressions is not longevity or durability. Some institutions get lost as they focus on their survival over their impact, mission, and potential for multiplication. Every person who attends your fresh expression brings a new set of needs, desires, questions, skills, and talents into the space that must be met in specific ways. Attempting to operate a spiritual community like a well-oiled machine inevitably leads to a struggle to adapt to the ever-changing social and cultural landscape in which it exists.
When a community comes to an end, it is not a defeat. A difference was still made in the lives of the people involved. The positive impacts make waves that echo into eternity. Hearts were redeemed. Souls were loved and cared for. And the wisdom and experience gleaned from the experience gives adventurers the tools they need to do it again with new people, in new places, in new ways.
As mentioned previously in this series, the Fresh Expressions Journey is not a set of steps that must be followed. It is a natural progression that overlaps, takes different paths, and can happen all at once. You can use it as a map to reference where you are in your adventure and where you might go next. Each step continues as you move on to the next one, thus you never stop listening, loving and serving, building community, sharing Jesus, and forming church as you move toward multiplication.