Updated: May 25, 2022
Finding simple ways to love your community
The second stage of the Fresh Expressions Journey is loving and serving. In this stage, you take what you’ve learned from listening to those around you and to how God is calling you and begin to act upon it. You don’t need a complicated plan to begin a fresh expression of church. Sometimes all you truly need is love in action!
Loving and serving can and should be simple. This is less about providing a service or volunteering your time and more about a way of being—a way of existing and interacting with the world that is driven by God’s love and Christ’s example of sharing life among His people. Perhaps this means that just a simple shift in the way you relate to others around you can put you on the path toward developing a new way of doing church.
What if you stayed a little longer after playing frisbee golf or pickup basketball to chat about meaningful subjects with your teammates? What would it look like if you started inviting your neighbors periodically to your house for dinner and a conversation? What if you sat down and enjoyed the meals you provided to the homeless alongside them?
Keep it simple and practical!
Look at the ideas, dreams, and longings of the people around you. Are the young adults in your neighborhood in need of mentors to guide them through parenthood? Create a space for multiple generations to meet together and form relationships!
Look at what works well outside the church. Check out your local Facebook events or groups on Meetup to see what kind of communities flourish.
Look at what other Christians have done. There is no reason for you to reinvent the wheel when it comes to Fresh Expressions. Learn from other dinner churches or pub communities. Reach out to growing communities to see what you can learn from them.
Just as you never stop listening, this step in the Fresh Expressions Journey also never ends. As your community evolves, you will always continue to do the steps that came before. Listening, loving, and serving are at the heart of the cycle. They guide the who, how, and why of this great adventure in new ways of reaching new people!