Fresh Expressions Book Club: Church in Life by Mike Moynagh

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Church in Life is the new book by Fresh Expressions theologian and innovator Mike Moynagh.   This new title is a brilliant addition to Mike’s existing library of Fresh Expressions theology and we’re thrilled to review it here on the Fresh Expressions website.

“Innovation goes beyond newness and changes the rules of the game”

I loved reading this book for its creative integration of innovation, mission and ecclesiology.  Mike doesn’t stop at encouraging the church to change in order to reach 21st Century culture.  Instead Mike explores a theology for change and within it a theological understanding of innovation and invention.  He draws deeply from the ideas which are emerging in business and technology but is always looking for a theological angle to what he is seeing and learning.  I particularly enjoyed the final section “Perspectives on Method” which explores directly how innovative teams and practice impact on those pioneering new communities of Church.

Church in Life is a meaty book (over 400 pages) and a long read so give yourself some time to get through it and don’t rush.  The book is also a good one to work through with teams and groups – particularly if you’re at the start of a new project.

Innovation and the imagination is an interesting subject for Fresh Expressions practitioners.  Many of you will be deeply skilled in this area – we know this from the innovation we see around the movement.  However these skills are often intuitive – happening without us really thinking about them.  The genius of Mike’s book therefore is to put these skills down on paper – to analyse them and apply them.  He then takes what we know and do and tests each idea through the lens of business, culture and good practice.  The result (at least for me) was new ideas and vision.


We sat down with Mike and asked what the big idea behind the book is.


You can ask Mike about his ideas in Church in Life or anything else when he goes on tour with Tim Lea – heading around the country listening to you and what you think.  Find our more about Tim and Mike on Tour through our story about their journeys in order to listen.

Church in Life: Innovation, Mission and Ecclesiology is available in the Shop area of the website.

Book review by Andy Freeman