Starting a Fresh Expression of Church

Unlocking the Future of Community Engagement with Fresh Expressions

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What could it look like to nurture thriving, fully-developed faith communities that live somewhere permanently outside the confines of traditional church buildings? In “Starting a Fresh Expression of Church,” we invite you to embark on the transformative journey of redefining how you perceive and practice church! Explore how church can happen authentically anywhere people naturally gather– from hiking trails to pickleball courts. This course is your guide to initiating, cultivating, and flourishing within the new and surprising expressions of church that might resonate for believers and seekers in this ever-changing century.

Unlock the power of the Fresh Expressions framework, bringing your church closer to the community while maintaining cherished traditions, and discover how to leverage your unique gifts to minister to those around you. Learn how to infuse spiritual conversations and practices into everyday activities, fostering connections and spiritual growth in unexpected places. By the end of this course, you’ll possess the knowledge, insights, and actionable strategies you need in order to build, lead, and participate in fresh expressions of church that effectively and joyfully embody the spirit of Jesus in the modern world.


What You'll Learn

  • Gain a Fresh Perspective: Grasp the theological foundations of the Fresh Expressions movement and their relevance in the contemporary world.
  • Absorb the Story: Explore compelling case studies of successful fresh expressions of church in unconventional settings, inspiring your own initiatives.
  • Expand Your Definitions: Widen your understanding of what church can look like to include nurturing, alternative faith communities where people naturally gather.
  • Knead Church Into the Everyday: Learn strategies to integrate faith and spirituality into everyday activities and conversations seamlessly.
  • Start Something New: Gain actionable steps for initiating, growing, and sustaining fresh expression communities tailored to diverse settings.
  • Embrace the Mixed Ecology: Discover techniques to blend the rich traditions of established congregations with fresh and innovative approaches.
  • Draft Your Blueprint: Develop a personalized plan to initiate and nurture your own fresh expression of church.


About this Course

  • Modules


  • Learning Elements


  • Videos


  • Practices & Activities


  • Time

9 Hours, 30 minutes

  • Price


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Here's What's Inside...

Get oriented to the course, download the interactive handbook, and access the group to chat with others!

In this module, you will

  • Learn what a Fresh Expression of church is.
  • Consider the possibilities of this strategy in your own setting.
  • Develop an openness to how God might be speaking.

In this module, you will

  • Learn how Fresh Expressions is theologically rooted.
  • Explore how those foundations can help you move forward.
  • Develop gratitude for Christian community.

In this module, you will

  • Understand the concept of the mixed ecology.
  • Create a map of the mixed ecology in your setting.
  • Develop your ability to view your community from God’s perspective.


In this module, you will

  • Identify key moments in the FX journey.
  • Write your own FX journey into the future.
  • Continue to pray for God’s leading.

In this module, you will

  • Learn ways to actively listen to your community.
  • Practice strategies for being in your community and listening to God.
  • Become more open to God’s leading.

In this module, you will

  • Learn steps for getting started with a Fresh Expressions project.
  • Further develop your project description.
  • Practice loving your community in tangible ways.

In this module, you will

  • Reflect on the importance of community.
  • Set a strategy for community building.
  • Pray for God’s leading in your community.

In this module, you will

  • Understand more about coming alongside others as Jesus would.
  • Learn to tell your own Jesus story.

In this module, you will

  • Be reminded to continue seeking God’s guidance.
  • Make a plan for developing your Fresh Expressions Community.
  • Consider next steps.

Find out your next steps as you complete the course and how to stay connected with your group. You'll also be able to submit feedback about your course.

You'll Learn How to Shift Ministry Models
Human chain paper with light and shadow on wood table

Ministry leaders and everyday believers alike are on the hunt for resources to address the decline (or even, maybe, the death) of the traditional church. We don’t just know something needs to change; we can feel it. This course gets honest about that deep, gnawing sense that something is missing, and its expert guidance will prepare participants to adapt their ministry methods and plans to our changing world.

By the end of the course, learners will be able to craft a clear, faithful, and personal plan for responding to this moment in history in the spirit of the Fresh Expressions, learning to build church wherever the faithful (or not so faithful) gather. As our world shifts, we respond, and we will continue to proclaim the Gospel and foster faithful communities wherever and however we are able!


Gain Instant Access

Here's everything you get for just $55:

  1. A Fresh Perspective: Grasp the essence of the Fresh Expressions movement and its role in sharing the Gospel with new audiences.
  2. 3 Years of Access: Enjoy long-lasting access to the course, ensuring you have ample time to go at your own pace.
  3. Online Community: Join a supportive, caring, and engaging online community of peers and listeners, fostering interactive discussions and shared growth.
  4. A New Pattern: Shift your focus from bringing people back to church buildings to nurturing faith communities in diverse contexts.
  5. Interactive Handbook: Navigate the course with ease using our interactive handbook, enhancing your learning experience.
  6. A Personalized Roadmap: Craft your own clear and faithful plan for responding to our current moment using the course’s toolbox of innovative strategies, theological insights, and practical tools.
  7. Immersive Modules: Engage with captivating video content, expert insights, real-life case studies, and interactive assignments.
  8. Go at Your Own Pace: Tailor your learning experience to your schedule and preferences, allowing you to take your time and fully absorb the material.
  9. A Spiritual Infusion: Learn to seamlessly blend faith, community, and daily life.
  10. Return Any Time: Access course materials even after completion, allowing you to revisit insights whenever you need.


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Meet Your Instructors

  • Dr. Dee Stokes

    Dr. Dee Stokes is an entrepreneurial minister, educator, consultant, author, and podcaster. With 30 years of experience in education, Dr. Stokes understands what it means to be co-vocational and serve God in the Church and in the marketplace. She has worked at every level of education and has also served as a Senior Pastor, Formation and Connections Pastor, and Teaching Pastor. She has a passion for God and His Church and to see people walk in divine destiny. Her degrees are in Sociology (BA from UNC Charlotte), Public Administration (MPA from Devry University), Biblical and Theological Foundations (MBTF from Asbury Theological Seminary), and Educational Leadership (Ed.S. & Ed.D. from Liberty University). Dr. Stokes's research interests include Cultural Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Burnout, Transformational Leadership, unconscious bias, and spousal responsibility.

  • Dwight Zscheile

    Dwight Zscheile is vice president of innovation and professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary. His latest book is Leading Faithful Innovation: Following God into a Hopeful Future (with Michael Binder and Tessa Pinkstaff, Fortress Press, 2023).

Connect as you learn

Connect inside the Faith+Lead Learning Lab

Learning happens best when you do it together with folks who are on the same journey as you are.

That's why our private social network, the Faith+Lead Learning Lab, hosts conversations about course content with other learners, instructors, TAs, and community leaders.

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Study together with a small group or congregation

Want to bring Starting a Fresh Expression of Church to your Bible study, small group, or even your entire congregation?

Choose "Enroll a Group" at checkout and select how many people you'd like to provide access to the course. You can go through the course together in-person, watch lessons together via Zoom, or even create a private group in the Learning Lab where participants can connect asynchronously.

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