Fresh Expressions was created to be a form of church for the changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. These communities come into being through principles of listening, service, contextual mission, and making disciples and have the potential to become mature expressions of church shaped by the Gospel. For more information about Fresh Expressions in the Florida Conference, please visit their website.
As we focus on discipleship district-wide in 2019, one of the ways we are doing that is through helping our faith communities better understand and implement the Fresh Expressions movement. Many of you have heard the term which simply defined is about reaching new people in new places in new ways.
We know from research that at best, our churches are positioned to reach only about one third of the population. Up to two thirds of the population are likely never to darken the doors of our churches. To reach them, we have to do church in new ways and in new places. It doesn’t mean the message changes. Our message will always be only Jesus saves by grace through faith in Him. How we convey that message must change if we’re to reach a large segment of society, however.
Please mark the first week of March (March 3-9, 2019) as the North East District’s first Steeple to the Streets week. Steeple to the Streets is a way of going into our communities to pray, observe, and engage. It’s easy to do and is a first step to thinking about where people are outside your church and to begin brainstorming about how you might reach them.
Here is some information to help you learn more about Steeple to the Streets and to share with your church:
We’ll be hosting a Fresh Expressions Vision Day at Mandarin UMC in Jacksonville from 9:30am – 3:30pm. This event is produced by Fresh Expressions US and will be led by the Rev. Michael Beck from our annual conference. Many of you have experienced Michael at last year’s Equip event. Michael is an excellent presenter and a pioneer in the Fresh Expressions movement. This will be a day-long, immersive event that will help you move forward in launching a Fresh Expression.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011