A fresh expression 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 fresh expression is …
1. Missional – it intends to work with non-churchgoers
2. Contextual – it seeks to fit the context
3. Formational – it aims to form disciples
4. Ecclesial – it intends to become church
Research shows that 60% of people in our country have no connection with church and really no desire to be connected with church as we know it either.
Ever since the Mission-shaped Church report was published in 2004 the Church of England alongside partner churches has been developing the Fresh Expressions network – see http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk
The Fresh Expressions Network has recently put together 3-minute guides to provide an introduction to ‘essential fresh expressions’ – what they are, why they are important, how to start, how to make disciples, how to grow mature disciples, how to reproduce and how to evaluate fresh expressions. Each guide can be read in 3 minutes! Click on the links below to download these guides:
There are a small, but growing number of fresh expressions of Church in Nottinghamshire and some are connected to Anglican structures.Training resources are readily available for finding out about how to start and lead fresh expressions. The Mission-Shaped Introduction Course is a short course that can be run locally – see http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/missionshapedintro
A longer course Mission-shaped Ministry takes place over nine months to a year and is run regularly in our region. See www.missionshapedministry.org and contact Director of Ministry and Mission for more details.
Other regular training events are put on from time to time.
Those who lead fresh expressions are termed pioneer ministers and you can read more about them and what they do and how they are trained here.
The Director of Ministry and Mission is available for consultation and discussion on any aspect of fresh expressions.
Pioneer Ministry and Pioneer Ministers
A pioneer minister is someone who has the necessary vision and gifts to be a missionary entrepreneur: with the capacity to form and lead fresh expressions and new forms of church appropriate to a particular culture. Pioneer ministers can be either ordained or lay (not ordained).
For further information and training resources see http://www.freshexpressions.org.uk/pioneerministry
The Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham is seeking to expand the number of its fresh expressions and occasionally lay pioneer posts or their equivalent will be advertised – see the job vacancies page.
Anyone wanting to think about their call to ordination as a Pioneer Minister should seek an early conversation with the Vocations Adviser and Director of Ordinands. All the documentation relating to this ministry is available here
Church on wheels
The Diocesan display trailer is seen at public events in Nottinghamshire throughout the show season, providing a base for activities and creating a space where people can seek advice or talk to the volunteers manning the trailer.
It is a grass roots resource that is used to support parishes and deaneries at public events in their communities. For instance, the trailer becomes a worship and prayer base at events like Calverton Car boot sale, and ensures a Church presence at the County Show, Goose Fair and other major events. It is versatile and can be adapted to a range of uses, from a platform for worship to a stage for activities.
Last year, the team who supported the trailer at public events met hundreds of people who would never go inside a church. Here’s a story of how joining the public ministry at a car boot event and Newark Show changed someone’s life…
Nick was a new Christian who had joined St Wilfrid’s Church bell ringers; he went to help at Calverton car boot sale – an event where the trailer is used as a base to reach out to Sunday bargain hunters.
He helped to set up and later witnessed diocesan events organiser Paul Howard talking to people about God.
Nick soon had his own opportunity to talk about faith when he manned the trailer as Paul went off to talk to traders and punters.
“Car Boot Church only works when you are on your own,” said Paul. “It seems strange but you need to be alone because only then do people feel safe enough to come and talk. So it was that Nick started his ministry, and he soon had his regulars – and those who drove him mad.
“Nick is an ordinary bloke with a straight forward relationship with Jesus and on car boot that is what is needed and people loved him. He spoke with all kinds of people, from drug addicts and salesmen to housewives and farmers. Nick had an easy way with people but with a strong belief in God and was brilliant at finding bits in the Bible to make his point or to give support to the person he was talking too.”
Eventually Nick’s love of the Bible led him into different kinds of work in the Church and he now runs his own house group and has completed some lay training. The opportunities for doing exactly what Nick did are there for those willing to step forward to help.
Staffing the trailer
If you want to help, you will need:
The ability to relate to and communicate with people
A passion to share the Christian faith
A personality which thrives on meeting new people and talking to them
You need to be available for at least one or two days a year; events run from April through to September and many involve weekends and sometimes evenings.
Volunteers will be trained and briefed and there are plenty of resources available. Travel expenses can also be covered, along with the cost of meals.
The trailer, which is equipped with an electric hook-up, an LCD projector and loud speaker system, is available free of charge, although donations towards costs are gratefully received. Paul oversees use of the trailer and will tow it to events, as well as advising on setting up events in the community.
To find out more about joining the team come along to an information event on: Tuesday 23rd April from 7-9pm or Wednesday 24th April from 10-noon at Jubilee House, Southwell.
For further information call Paul Howard for a chat on 07827 291725
Trailer programme for 2016
Retford Charter Day: 2nd May
Newark Show: 13th – 15th May
Hemlock Happening: 4th June
Southwell Folk Festival: 10 – 12th June
Harworth Classic Car Show: 20th June
Transform Weekend: 15th&16th July
Riverside Festival: 5th – 7th August
Flintham Show: 22nd September
Southwell Plough Match: 24th September
Goose Fair: 30th September to 3rd October
Wedding Fair: 18th October