New Faith Expressions
The purpose of New Faith Expressions is to encourage evangelism and the creation of diverse, multicultural "third places" with and for people who aren’t currently connected to any faith community. Home and work are first and second spaces, “third spaces” are the gathering places in between. In a post‐Christendom society, the church building isn’t viewed as the natural third space it once was. Instead coffee shops, gyms and studios have emerged and persons being the church need to be intentional about showing up in those. New faith expressions are not tied to a physical building (or even to keeping a church alive) but to a building of community for a purpose: to engage people in a life‐giving relationship with Jesus. Simply put, through New Faith Expressions we hope to create new places and spaces for new people in order to reach more new people, more young people, more diverse people who become more like Christ in the world. -- Rev. Dr. Bill Brown, Director of New Faith Expressions
In the Baltimore-Washington Conference there are several ways we do this:
- Pioneer Planting. Strategically planted churches led by an equipped church planter and team in areas of rapid growth.
- Multi-Site Campus. A healthy church expands its ministry by starting new locations to reach new people. These new locations may or may not include existing United Methodist congregations.
- Mission Congregations. Missional efforts to establish congregations which are designed to reach under-served and at-risk communities. These congregations will build a network of partners to support their life and ministry. Some of these may become chartered churches, others will not.
- Missional Innovation. Taking the church to the streets. Missional innovation creates fresh expressions of local churches designed to engage people who are disconnected from Christian community. Some of these expressions may develop into their own micro-faith communities or Christian social enterprise, while others remain a ministry of an existing congregation. Still others might repurpose church property to serve a community need.