For two balmy days in July, across three locations in Dayton, Ohio, more than 50 Adventurers – laity, local pastors, deacons and clergy – came together. The leaders who were completing a year’s certification training program welcomed and engaged with those just beginning the journey. It was a time of transition.
Every person present had been called to share the Good News through the Fresh Expressions movement, echoing the classic progression into faith used by John and Charles Wesley’s small groups.
- These groups start off (much like Wesley’s Societies) coming together to ask questions and learn.
- Once they respond to God’s justifying grace, they continue learning, being nurtured and growing as disciples (like Wesley’s Classes).
- The last stage of the process they begin to worship together, and have greater accountability to one another (like Wesley’s Bands).
What these leaders experienced wasn’t just a class. It was an immersion into their calling and passion – 50 leaders representing an estimated 120 Fresh Expressions of Church in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and Pennsylvania!
This gathering was made possible by a multi-year Foundation for Evangelism Innovation Grant to the Adventurer Leadership Academy (ALA) at the Fresh Expressions House at United Theological Seminary in Dayton. These kinds of grants let the Foundation look for places where the Holy Spirit is “bubbling up” and creative new ministry is happening. We look for places where grant money can make something with potential become more than it could have been on its own.