A Fresh Expression Learning Community is designed to connect participants with fresh expressions principles to equip them to cultivate cultures of fresh expressions in their congregations or to start fresh expressions of church that are contextually informed and missionally attentive.
A Fresh Expression Learning Community consists of 2 retreats, monthly content, monthly coaching, and weekly Facebook group engagement. Our design is for the retreats to engage content and build a sense of community with other practitioners, and for the monthly content and coaching to foster just-in-time learning along the journey. Our hope is that the relationships that are built through these learning communities would translate into ongoing collegial relationships to foster ongoing connection and encouragement in the mission.
What is a Pioneer?—identifying some characteristics needed for pioneering ministry
Incarnational Mission—the power of incarnational ministry in a changing mission landscape
Development of a Fresh Expression of Church—principles of development of a fresh expression of church (listening, loving and serving, building community, exploring discipleship, forming church)
Listening for Mission—the priority of listening and practice in prayer-walking
What is Church?—aiming for maturity in four dimensions of church (up, in, out, of)
Breakout for Pioneer Leaders: Mission Possible—design thinking for pioneers
Breakout for Existing Church Leaders: Cultivating a Church Culture that Encourages Fresh Expressions—leading a blended ecology church
Discipleship in a Fresh Expression—fostering environments and relationships for people to be formed and grow as followers of Jesus
Developing a Team and a Shared Vision—team is central to mission and fresh expressions of church
In addition, coaching circles have their first session at retreat 1.
Each Learning Community Facebook Group is administered by Director of Training. Several times a month, conversation is seeded to invite participants to engage and to encourage them to continue their catalytic fresh expressions work, even in the midst of everyday life and ministry pressures.
Monthly training modules:
Love, Relate, Create—attentiveness to the importance of attentiveness to the people this mission is meant to engage
Building Community—principles to build on community or foster community
Team—building on the first team session to reinforce the importance of recruiting and developing team
Missional Values—getting clear on the values that are important to embody in this unfolding community
Funding—tools for identifying funding needs, considering funding streams and sustainability plans
Coaching circles of up to 8 meet online through Zoom conferencing. Fresh Expressions trainers help participants identify action steps for the next month to foster forward movement in the missional work.
Check In—sharing the breakthroughs and challenges since the last retreat
Leadership in a Fresh Expression—leadership needed to be effective in a missional endeavor
Evangelism in a Fresh Expression—principles of evangelism in a fresh expression initiative
Peer Learning—facilitated conversations for collaborative learning with other practitioners
Discipleship II: From Building Community to Exploring Discipleship—practical discipleship principles and tools for fresh expressions
Worship in a Fresh Expression—taking seriously the context and the people in developing rhythms and forms of worship
Failures, Setbacks, and Staying Strong—setbacks to anticipate and spiritual practices to lean into
Closing—where do we go from here?
In addition, the coaching circles have a session together during retreat 2.
Following the Learning Community, participants are invited into an ongoing Learning Community Alumni Facebook group with other pioneers. This group is meant to encourage continued connection and peer engagement around fresh expressions initiatives.