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


  • Ian Nell
  • Rudolph Grobler



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


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.