Suffolk Fresh Expressions Community
The vision for the Suffolk Fresh Expressions Community is to provide structure, support and relationships which facilitate small local missional groups to help bring new Christians to faith; help both new and established Christians to grow in discipleship, vocation and leadership and to enable inculturation of the gospel and the initiatives which arise from this to flourish.
“A fresh expression of Church is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.”
What will the small groups do?
The small groups will do many of the key things churches do but on a small scale. They will have a strong focus on being on mission with Jesus. They will seek to meet regularly (normally weekly) and to build their group life round a simple set of values:
All involved – Everyone in the group shares in all aspects of leadership and ministry.
Becoming disciples – They will study the Bible to see how it applies in their lives and seek to be accountable to each other in putting it into practice. This is likely to include nurturing new Christians who come to faith through the witness of the group.
Creating community – They will seek to become a community where there is sacrificial love within open and honest relationships. Positive relationships also need to be worked at with local churches and the wider community or network with which the group seeks to engage.
Doing evangelism – They will pray for blessing on people outside the current church and regularly do things together which create pathways for people who do not yet know Christ’s love to learn about the Christian faith and to become fully-fledged disciples. A group may be the team for a fresh expression of church such as café church or they may be a fresh expressions of Church in themselves.
Encountering God – They will worship regularly together (not necessarily singing) and seek to listen for God’s voice for each other and for their work together.
These values enable deeper relationships with others locally in prayer, discerning vision, accountability and engaging in mission. They give the opportunity to model the relationships with God, with fellow disciples and with the wider world which need to characterise fresh expressions of Church. And a small group brings fun and helps with carrying each others burdens.
How will the Suffolk–wide Community help?
The small groups will be members of the Suffolk Fresh Expressions Community. The vision is for this to grow: small missional groups and their members will find it will eventually grow into a Community in which they can find:
- Recognition, accountability and support from others across Suffolk
- A network of others engaged in similar pioneering work and ways of learning from what others have done before
- Resources for missional small groups, similar to those provided for Messy Church by BRF
- A group mentor to help them to form as healthy missional groups and discern the shape of their mission initiative together
- An annual residential gathering including all ages
- A fund within the Suffolk FX Community account, administered centrally - enabling fresh expressions of Church and mission projects to grow in stewardship and financial responsibility without needing to find treasurers for very small initiatives
- Professional help with fundraising/grant applications where appropriate.
4pp Training Leaflet | PDF
Join our Facebook Group: Suffolk Fresh Expressions in the Diocese Facebook page: @cofesuffolk.
This initiative is the result of the partnership of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich with Rural Ministries.
It is open to Christians of any denomination or stream.