Fresh Expressions in a Digital Age

How the Church Can Prepare for a Post Pandemic World

Fresh Expressions in a Digital Age - eBook [ePub]
E-Book ISBN: 9781791018917
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Paperback ISBN: 9781791023843
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Published July 2021

Recognize the digital space as its own kind of third place, a new missional frontier.

Fresh Expressions is a canary in the coal mine, alerting congregations to reevaluate what the Church is, where and when it can happen, and who can lead it. Church as we know it is inaccessible to most people. A fundamental premise of the movement is that Church can become accessible again by emerging in every nook and cranny where life already happens. Fresh Expressions is based in simplification, returning to basic scriptural principles, and a recovery of a “priesthood of all believers”—in the three places where people live and relate to others.
First Place: The home or primary place of residence.
Second Place: The workplace or school place.
Third Place: The public places separate from the two usual social environments of home and workplace, which host regular, voluntary, informal, and neutral spaces of communion and play. Examples are environments such as cafes, pubs, theaters, parks, and so on.
During a pandemic, our two primary mission spaces were closed off; the second and third places were shut down. We couldn’t have Tattoo Parlor Church; the tattoo parlor was closed. We couldn’t gather in Moe’s Southwest Grill for Burritos and Bibles; they were doing take-out only. The dog park was empty; no Paws of Praise. This limited us to the only spaces we have left: the first place, or the home place. The digital place, or the “space of flows.” This forces us into recognizing the digital space as its own kind of third place, a new missional frontier.

About the Authors

Rosario Picardo

As Ginghamsburg's Executive Pastor of New Church Development, Rosario (Roz) Picardo partners with Senior Pastor Mike Slaughter and the leadership team to dream and deploy new faith communities within the Ginghamsburg community of churches. He also provides for the oversight and growth of the Dayton campuses, partnering with Pastor Jon Morgan at the Fort McKinley Campus while also currently serving as the campus pastor at The Point Campus in Trotwood. Roz is an Ordained Elder within the United Methodist Church, holding a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary. He leads a consulting group for church planters/pastors called Picardo Coaching LLC and is the author of Embrace: A Church Plant That Broke All the Rules and Get to Work: Recovering a Theology of Bivocational Ministry. Bef

Michael Adam Beck

Michael Adam Beck is the Director of Fresh Expressions for The United Methodist Church and a lecturer and program director at several seminaries, including the Fresh Expressions House of Studies at United Theological Seminary. He is senior pastor of St. Mark’s UMC in Ocala, FL, and has served as co-pastor with his wife Jill, directing addiction recovery programs, a jail ministry, food pantry, and racial justice movements. He is the author of several books, including Doing Justice Together and A Field Guide to Methodist Fresh Expressions.