Rev. Dr. Chris Backert, the national coordinator for Fresh Expressions US, came all the way from Richmond, Virginia via Amtrak on April 17, 2012, to dialogue with the ABCNJ Regional Ministry Team and Bridge Pastors about planting new kinds f churches. Fresh Expressions began in England, whee over 2,000 Fresh Expressions projects are underway (sponsored by Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and other denominations).
On March 15, Dr. Spitzer attended the Fresh Expressions National leaders meeting in Virginia. he believes that the Holy Spirit is encouraging Jesus' disciples to embrace new ways of reaching people. That's what Fresh Expressions is all about.
Chris Backert posed the key questions underlying the Fresh Expressions movement: "What are we doing about those people who do not go to church? How will the Holy Spirit use us to reach them?" He noted that in New Jersey, only 13.5% of the population attends church on a given Sunday. Only a small minority of the other 86.5% is open to traditional church life. Accordingly, a Fresh Expressions church outreach starts with a strong missions focus, a willingness to re-imagine how a church is organized, and a commitment to both existing and new forms of church.