Over the last 30 years there has been what some call ‘a missiological turn’ – a renewed focus on mission as the foundation of the church’s life and being. This has led to many new initiatives seeing churches working together in their communities.
In 2004 the Mission-Shaped Church report was published. The report shared the story of what God was doing in cities, towns, villages and new housing estates across England. The Report noted that ecumenical cooperation was critical to the mission of the church. The formation of fresh expressions of church have led to substantial growth amongst those not connected with any form of church.
“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. It will come into being through the principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples. It will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the Church and for its cultural context.”
A similar way of thinking about these fresh expressions is that they are; missional, contextual, formational and ecclesial.
Fresh expressions are one of the success stories in ecumenical mission over the past 20 years. Churches have come together in significant ways to see new congregations coming into being in a variety of places. These range from community centres in new housing estates, to coffee shops, leisure centres, and in woodlands.
CTE has more than 50 Member Churches, and six of these national churches are officially part of the Fresh Expressions movement in England. In partnership with Fresh Expressions UK, CTE are offering taster days for some of our Member Churches to find out more about the movement and how it may be an encouragement in thinking about sharing the Good News of Jesus in culturally appropriate ways. To find out more, contact CTE’s Principal Officer for Mission and Evangelism Ben Aldous.