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Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions

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What is a Fresh Expression?

Fresh Expressions are communities of belonging—primarily for those not yet part of a church—marked by forming relationships around shared interests and hobbies, and by sharing stories. Fresh expressions are anchored to existing churches, connecting churches with people who would never enter the church building on a Sunday morning. They do not exist to get people to come to our church, but rather to form new faith communities in places where people are already gathering.

What qualifies as a Fresh Expression?

Fresh Expressions are not:

  • Temporary, annual, bi-annual, quarterly ‘event’
  • Tweak of the present form of the church’s Sunday service
  • An arm of a present church’s outreach ministries
  • Seeking to replace the inherited church
Dinner Church 1

Dinner church at Fargo First UMC.

Fresh Expressions are:

  • Gathered around the resurrected Christ
  • Primarily for those who are not likely to engage with an established church
  • An on-going community
  • Attentive to a subculture or particular population group
  • Outside the traditions and most often outside the walls of established churches
  • Contextualized
  • Smaller-scale than what we tend to think of a traditional church
  • Adaptable and flexible


Join the Fresh Expressions Facebook group

Introducing a Movement: Three short videos with Rev. Michael Beck

Fresh Expressions resources from Discipleship Ministries of The UMC

Fresh Expressions - Training, Books & Resources for Church Leadership

Field Guide to Methodist Fresh Expressions

Recordings of past DK-MN Area Fresh Expressions Trainings

Upcoming Trainings and Events

Fresh Expressions Coaching Calls: June 27, July 25, and August 29, 6:30 p.m., online

Monthly Coaching session are for Fresh Expressions practitioners and their teams. Participants will learn from each other as they process the loving first journey together. Participants will share stories, ideas and get support from others. Rev. Michael Beck will facilitate these calls.

Fresh Expressions, panel presentation facilitated by Rev. Dan Bader — Friday, June 7, 2024, noon, at Annual Conference

Inspired by the teaching and trainings over the past year as well as the movement of the Holy Spirit, many churches across the Dakotas are experimenting with innovative ways to be in ministry in new places and with new people. Join us as a panel of leaders share their Fresh Expressions joys and challenges and facilitate creative brainstorming for how you can join this Kingdom work in your own context.

News Articles

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Everyone in Alexandria, South Dakota is welcome at Morning Brew.

God is on the move in Minot

De Smet and Iroquois explore Fresh Expressions of the rural church

Grace UMC is harvesting God's garden

Park River leans into Fresh Expressions with Shout Worship and community youth group

Imagine Day inspires Fresh Expressions across Dakotas-Minnesota Area

Fresh Expressions: Flame of Faith UMC launches “Drinks and Doubts”

Alexandria UMC shares Jesus' love at Morning Brew plus more

Pierre First UMC’s Pub Theology reaches new people: A Fresh Expression

Reaching families in Jamestown: Fresh Expression at First UMC

Fargo First UMC making disciples across generations

Mornings with a Mission serves coffee and souls

Drinks and Doubts: Flame of Faith UMC's Fresh Expression

Expanding Fresh Expressions: 3 key ideas

Welcoming Ukrainians to North Dakota: Fresh Expression of church

Pub Theology: Pierre First UMC Fresh Expression

Moving Fresh Expression ideas into the community


Rev. Dan Bader:


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