Is there any biblical basis for fresh expressions of church?

Yes - lots, but you can see the pattern most clearly in the Acts of the Apostles. The church takes many different forms as it moves from culture to culture in the ancient world. In Acts 11, one kind of community forms as the persecuted Christians preach only to Jews. However when others begin to preach to Gentiles as well and they come to faith there is a new group with its own culture and traditions. Turn to the early chapters of Galatians and you discover that there were real tensions between these different cultural communities.

In Philippi, where there is no synagogue, the Gospel takes root in a community gathered in the house of the first convert, Lydia. In Ephesus, the Gospel is preached first to the synagogue community but after that in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. Many different groups emerge with their own cultural traditions as the Gospel crosses boundaries.

The New Testament letters were largely written to help these new communities address real issues of diversity and unity: try looking at 1 Corinthians as a text written to people who were guiding fresh expressions of church in a pagan and very different context - that was its original purpose.


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