The defining moments of Christ's work were his death and resurrection
As we celebrate in communion, he died that we might live. His death makes possible the kingdom.
For people today, kingdom-inspired transformation involves dying to old ways of doing things so that new possibilities can come to life.
A similar dying-to-live is often at work in fresh expressions
Inherited church may have to allow its preconceptions of what church should be like to die, to create space for new expressions of church to come alive.
Christians involved in a fresh expression may have to die to their preferences so that the preferences of others can live; this 'death' may be especially painful when it applies to styles of worship.
Someone with a bright idea may have to experience the pain of letting their vision die because people they are called to serve have their own, different ideas.
A Cambridgeshire couple planted a house church (Fenland Community Church) with the aim of evangelising their local community. Regular outreach in the town centre attracted the interest of people with learning disabilities.
Eventually, they gave up their original vision. Instead of the house church they had envisaged, they found themselves struggling with managing a new congregation of learning disabled people, which has grown in numbers, faith and ability.
Fresh expressions of church are not for the faint-hearted
'The results are not instantaneous and require commitment, patience and the struggle born out of genuineness, not expedience'
Richard Sudworth, emergingchurch.info
They can be time-consuming, feel like a marathon, be misunderstood by the wider church and prove disappointing. Pioneers may experience one Good Friday after another as they pray that God will bring an Easter Sunday.
Waiting patiently in our instant culture can be particularly difficult. From his study of emerging Christian groups in south Wales in the early 2000s, Richard Sudworth had this advice:
Take the long view. A constant thread in all these discussions has been the need for churches to invest in the long term as they step out with new forms of mission. The results are not instantaneous and require commitment, patience and the struggle born out of genuineness, not expedience.