How to Tell the Difference Between a Ministry and a Fresh Expression?

posted on June 24

When you hear a story of a new kind of Church, one that looks different than what you already do on Sundays, it’s natural to want to put it in a category.

It’s easy for a church leader to look at a fresh expression and say, “we already have a ministry that does that.” Another natural assumption to make, especially when observing a blended ecology church with various expressions, is to categorize them as “ministries of a local Church.”

Ministries are an essential part of the life of an established Church. Churches of all shapes and size rely on those who provide childcare on Sundays, the age-specific teaching of youth ministry and the camaraderie of men’s and women’s ministries. Countless people have encountered the love of Jesus through “mercy ministries” like food and clothing banks. But these ministries are never intended to become a “church.”

Despite many similarities, a fresh expression of Church is not a “ministry,” and it can do things many ministries never can. So what is the difference, and why does it even matter?

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