An exploration of fresh expressions as missional church: Some practical-theological perspectives

Ian Nell, Rudolph Grobler


The mainline churches in Europe and North America are on the decline.
Mainline denominations are struggling to reach the unchurched in a fast changing world. New ways
of being church and doing mission are on the rise all over the world. Fresh Expressions is one
of the ways that mainline congregations (especially in the Anglican Church in England) are
seeking to be missional in contemporary culture. This study seeks to give a practical
theological analysis of Fresh Expressions through some empirical and reflective work. A research
team visited some Fresh Expressions initiatives in London and found a pattern of practice that
can be described as inviting, accepting and challenging. Secondly, the researchers explore these
findings by using a perspective from New Testament ethics, evaluating Fresh Expressions through
the lenses of community, cross and new creation. Lastly, a synthesis of the data is made and the
researchers also look at possible applications of some aspects of the movement within mainline
denominations in South Africa.


Missional Church; Fresh Expressions; New Testament; Practical Theology; Richard Hays

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2226-2385 (online); ISSN 0028-2006 (print)

© 2014 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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