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Fresh Expression Days

October 17 - October 18

Dates & Time:

  • October 17th – Life Branch Church, Dartmouth, NS;
  • October 18th – Journey Church / Allison Campus, Moncton, NB
  • 9-9:30am check-in; 9:30am-4:00pm


  • In person:
    • $40 for first registrant from CBAC church
      • $10 for each extra registrant from same church (when registering together)
    • $60 per registrant non-CBAC church
  • Live Stream (Wednesday only)
    • $40 CBAC church
    • $60 non-CBAC church


Description: While the realities of the pandemic remain, the God who “makes all things new” is up to something. Amid a Christian landscape of confusion, uncertainty, anxiety, and a lack of clarity on how to move forward in a pandemic world, new movements of the Spirit are springing forth.

Inherited congregations with long histories and ways of doing things are learning to experiment in new ways through a blended ecology approach and moving into an “unstuck” future. Such congregations are discovering that they can start fresh expressions of church that both reach new people and revitalize existing congregations for remissioning.

Matt Lake and J.R. Briggs have employed different approaches in their respective ministries, but both are discovering new life and new opportunities in the churches they have served through becoming a new kind of local church. They will explore the theological underpinnings, the practical tools needed, and the “how to processes” to get your church unstuck and become a new kind of local church for a new day.

Click for Session Info

Session 1: A New Missional Frontier – Why It Matters. The massive growth of “nones and dones,” and the decline of all Christian groups, and the disaffiliation of emerging generations with the church is a well-documented phenomenon. We’ve seen the data and we know things seem less than encouraging–often leaving pastors and churches feeling stuck. In this season, we want to peek behind the curtain and examine how we got here – the shifts and influences that led to this reality – as well as share a compelling vision for how fresh expressions offer a hope-filled, contextually intelligent mission-oriented approach for the future. Even in this unstuck time, new opportunities for vitality await.

Session 2: Why a Blended Ecology of Church? This session will invite us to reimagine our ministry contexts as communal ecosystems as a way of getting unstuck. The blended ecology is a form of revitalization that occurs when local churches live in the mixed ecological reality, cultivating both attractional and emerging forms of church over a significant period. Inherited congregations that cultivate fresh expressions can experience (and have experienced!) revitalization through both a gathered and a sent mindset. A blended ecology is a strategic and missional direction for inherited churches (also known as traditional, attractional, or gathered) of any size, living together in a synergistic way.

Session 3: How Does a Blended Ecology Actually Work? This session would explore practical ways for inherited congregations to get unstuck by moving “from the steeple to the streets.” Every local church can be a “multi-site” in the sense of multiple congregations gathering throughout the community. Pioneer ministry teams are the key to this activity. For centuries the church has understood itself as a community of believers in the midst of the greater society and culture. The local church can be awakened from apostolic amnesia, and future-fitted by the Spirit through practical expressions and initiatives that can be carried out by the laity.

Session 4: How Do We Move Forward In The Blended Ecology? In this session we get even more specific and practical as we look to the future, examining how we can push out into new waters. Getting unstuck involves exploring what discipleship looks like in our current context as well as in a blended ecology reality. When the whole people of God, the apostleship of all believers, are released to join what the Spirit is up to in our neighborhoods and networks, a new future is born. The task at hand then is to discover how we cultivate congregations capable of pioneering new territory and how we develop leaders that can guide these congregations.

Click for Trainer Bios - J.R. Briggs, Matt Lake

J.R. Briggs is a Mission Strategist and Trainer with Fresh Expressions US. He is the founding director of Kairos Partnerships, a ministry seeking to love the Church by caring for Her leaders through coaching, consulting, speaking, equipping and writing. He is affiliate professor of practical theology at Missio Seminary, and serves as a guest instructor at Friends University. He serves as the Director of Leadership & Congregational Formation for The Ecclesia Network. J.R. is an author, co-author and contributor of thirteen books and dozens of articles, both in print and online. J.R. and his wife Megan have two sons, Carter and Bennett. They live in the heart of Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

Matt Lake serves as the Lead Pastor of First Church of Williamsport, PA—an urban congregation that consists of a mix of traditional and contemporary worship experiences.  First Church also currently hosts a network of fresh expressions of ministry called the Acts Network in which people meet in places such as homes, gyms, nursing homes, parks, and even in the mountains!  Matt is a graduate of Messiah College (B.A. in Biblical Studies) and has a Master in Divinity from Duke Divinity School.  Matt also has his Doctorate of Ministry in Semiotics and Future Studies through Portland Seminary in which he focused on developing effective models of congregational discipleship for the new day in which we find ourselves.  Matt has worked with a variety of churches in consultant and coaching roles and has a passion to see God’s Kingdom impacted through lives transformed in the love of Jesus Christ.  Matt is deeply in love with his beautiful wife Jennifer and is doing his best to keep up with his three, amazing, grown-up kids–Alexandra, Joshua, and Zach.


October 17
October 18
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