Fresh Expressions of Church
Church development in the Church of England
Inspired by the fresh expressions of church movement in the Anglican Church, a Fresh X-network was established in Germany in 2012. The network’s purpose is to invent, develop and try fresh expressions of church. One of the main ideas is to support congregations, which are sensitive and relevant for their specific context.
Fresh X is obligated to four values, which shape the emerging fresh expressions of church: These new congregations ought to be missional, contextual, formational, ecclesial.
These fresh expressions will not consider themselves as replacement for the established church but as a supplement to it. This approach is described as mixed economy of established and fresh expressions of church.
The IEEG has the role of an consultant to the network. The focus lies on theological backing, consulting and promotion of this innovative initiatives. This also happens through empirical research and evaluation.
Besides research, consulting, and evaluation, the teaching also mirrors the IEEG’s dedication to the topic of Fresh X: In 2005 the IEEG hosted a symposia with the topic of Church Planting (»Gemeindepflanzung – ein Modell für die Kirche der Zukunft?«), which also dealt with the topic of fresh expressions of church. One year later Prof. Michael Herbst released the german translation of the Anglican church report Mission-shaped Church (»Mission bringt Gemeinde in Form«) and made this – for the Anglican Church indicatory – report accessible to the German-speaking public. Furthermore lectures about fresh expressions are regularly held, e.g. in the winter term 2015/2016 and in the summer term 2016 the chair for Practictal Theology and the IEEG offer a two-term grassroots module about fresh expressions of church (Fresh X Das Basismodul) for the students of the University of Greifswald.