Fresh Expressions seeks to transform communities and individuals by empowering them to plant new and fresh expressions of church incarnationally in different communities. Fresh Expressions is primarily concerned with reaching the ‘unchurched;’ those who have had no faith experience, those who once attended church and for any number of reasons stopped attending, and those who do not desire to return. Fresh Expressions church communities have developed in response to the changing culture of church to meet the needs of the unreached and the unchurched. Rather than adhere with the “come to us” approach of church, Fresh Expressions seeks to “go and stay” where unchurched, de-churched and non-Christians are living.
There is no “one model fits all” example but rather Fresh Expressions seek to be contextual to the particular target group in reaching those who are not involved in a church community. Fresh Expressions of Church are committed to the principles of serving, incarnation, listening, and discipleship. Often times the new church will not resemble the sending church as there is no desire to “clone” the church but rather adapt to the context in which the new church community is growing.
Fresh Expression is a term coined in the UK and has always been an ecumenical group that includes the majority of mainline denominations both internationally and in South Africa. There is a national South African Fresh Expressions Board as well as regional committees.
Fresh Expressions SA offers ongoing training in a year-long course entitled Mission-shaped Ministry and is available throughout the country.