Five Loaves and Two Fish

A few thoughts from Network Animator, Tim Lea.

People often ask me “where does leadership reside within the Fresh Expressions movement?”

This is a question which might have a few answers.  We have a Board who give governance.  We have a Leadership community, both for the movement and also within each partner denomination.  We have teams which enable gatherings, communications or plan strategically.

Yet the journey we have been on and the way Fresh Expressions is Changing means all these groups will answer “everyone plays a part.”

It’s not that everyone is a leader.  Fresh Expressions aims to be a network of networks, a gathering together of practitioners all bringing their wisdom, experience and sense of call to the whole.  But leadership is collective here – we all play a part, we all have a voice.

It was that voice that suggested we look at failure as a theme for one of our gatherings. So in March we will be looking at Leadership and Vulnerability, exploring the relationships between the missionary Spirit who calls us to new places and peoples and ask us to risk and encounter difference.

Recently I’ve been drawn to the Feeding of the 5,000.

Jesus’s lifting up of the loaves and fishes speaks clearly to the disciples and those around Him.  he called them to feed the people. He empowered them.  Their response was how – we are ill-equipped, under-resourced and unable to meet demand 9sounds familiar!) So Jesus responded to the generosity of a boy or young man with his lunchbox.  Where did the leadership reside here?  Was it the boy, the food … or was it that collective moment when everybody shared – everybody played their part.

He calls us to feed people – he calls every single one of us.

The task of Fresh Expressions and the re-imaging of Church for changing context isn’t a job for leaders, or influencers or practitioners alone.  Everyone is called to play a part.

How will you get involved today?

Maybe our Take the Next Steps articles and resources will help you.  Check them out and message us if we can help you more.

Maybe connecting is your next step – if yes, visit our Get Connected pages and find the right place.

We’d love to journey with you.

Tim Lea is Network Animator for Fresh Expressions.  You can find out more and meet the other members of the team here.

Posted in Story.


  1. My understanding is that in the Church of England, only ordained priests are allowed to give communion.

    My question is do FxC have communion?

    If so, who administers this?

    or if you could send me the link, I was unable to find answers to my questions on your website.

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Sue
      Thanks so much for your comment. The question you pose is a really good one and it’s something that is continually discussed in fx’s. Each denomination obviously has it’s own rules, but you are quite right that in the CofE only Anglican priests are allowed to administer communion. A lot of fx’s have communion but at the moment this has to be done by someone who is ordained. Fx’s work out how to do this in a number of different ways in negotiation with local vicars and the Diocese, so it’s really dependent on the individual fx. There are of course some ordained pioneers in the CofE which helps as it means communion is more indigenous to the community rather than just having someone visit on a monthly basis for example. It is a big question as many fx’s are started by and run by lay people which means this is a very common challenge. If this is something you need to work through in your context then it can be helpful to chat to people within your Diocese.

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