5.74: Fresh Expressions: How to Start New Christian Communities

See how the Spirit is inspiring UK lay leaders to create innovative Christian communities in a low-engagement landscape.

Looking for new ways to share the Gospel with your neighbors? Watch this pivot podcast episode to learn about simple ways the Spirit of God is raising up, calling and sending leaders–especially lay leaders–to cultivate new forms of Christian community that meet people where they are in daily life.

In today’s episode, we’re going to cross the pond to the UK to learn from hopeful seeds of new life that are emerging within a context where there is a long Christendom legacy but only 8% of the current population is actively engaged with church of any kind. Be encouraged with hope-filled stories of emerging communities of faith reaching people in local neighborhoods and helping people discover the difference that Jesus makes. If you want to learn where Christian communities are being started by lay leaders, watch this entire episode about fresh expressions of church being started in the UK.

Show Notes:


Sally Gaze Headshot

Sally Gaze

Sally has been the Archdeacon of Rural Mission since 2019. She is the Director of 'Growing in God in the Countryside', a six-year initiative jointly funded by the Church Commissioners and the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. An important part of the project was the beginning of the Suffolk Fresh Expressions Community, known as 'Lightwave.’

Lightwave is a Christian community, meeting in small groups, predominantly in rural areas and working closely with local parish churches. The name comes from the idea of light waves being the way in which light spreads into dark places. Lightwave is committed to shining the light of Jesus through Christian witness and practical service: Our groups are especially involved in combatting isolation and poverty, engaging in youth work, care for creation, and agricultural chaplaincy.

Sally has a long-term passion for rural mission and is involved in a number of initiatives at a national level. Before moving to Suffolk, Sally was the team Rector of the Tas Valley Team Ministry, in the Norwich Diocese for 15 very happy years. For part of this time she was also the Facilitator of Fresh Expressions of Church. She is author of 'Mission Shaped and Rural' (CHP).

Meet Your Hosts

  • Alicia Granholm

    Alicia Granholm is senior director of Faith+Lead and a leadership and church consultant based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She helps pastors and leaders engage culture to make a lasting impact. For nearly two decades, she has trained, equipped, and empowered followers of Jesus to engage their local communities by contextualizing the Gospel and its application. Alicia compassionately crosses cultural boundaries having lived, studied, traveled, and served in 25 countries on six continents. Alicia has a Doctor of Strategic Leadership, Global Consulting (Regent University), MDiv (Bethel Seminary), and MA in Teaching (University of St. Thomas).

  • 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).