Chris Backert

It’s no surprise that today’s world is different than that of yesteryear. The communications revolution is probably having almost as far-reaching an impact on today’s denominations as the new views on authority and structure in the culture are. The new wave of communication technology has flattened many of the traditional hierarchies that are found in […]

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Chris Backert

In the center of the Commonwealth, something is happening. Several months ago, Jeff Neikirk, a Church Council Leader supporting a fresh expression of church out of Zion Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA told us, “Christ is not a stationary God. He is out in front of us. He is already 5 miles down the road. […]

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outcome new church networks
Chris Backert

If the binding cause around which new, covenanted church communities will gather is the missio Dei, and the intent of their gathering together is to be a community participating in the mission of God together, the ultimate outcome will be a maturing and multiplying of gospel-centered communities that are both incarnational and eschatological. As many […]

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Chris Backert

Many thinkers and practitioners are examining the role of the five-fold equipping model found in Ephesians 4 as an antidote to hierarchical leadership models of previous generations. In doing so, many are suggesting that not only is this a helpful framework for a way forward in the area of leadership and governance, but it is […]

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Chris Backert


Churches involved in new church networks need something to bind them together. That is, they need a cohesive principle that will unite churches towards a common vision and move them towards a covenanted (instead of contractual) relationship. This is of particular importance given some of the wider contextual realities facing the church situation in post-Christendom […]

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Chris Backert

The following excerpt is part of a longer article you can read on the Juicy Ecumenicism blog. Lightning Speed Changes It’s no surprise to most that we are facing challenging times within the Church in North America. With almost lightning speed, American society is vastly moving in the way of Europe when it comes to religious belief, the […]

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Chris Backert

There is a great deal of confusion among those who are outside these realms of conversation over the emerging and missional church. Some believe these movements are synonymous with one another, while others see them as entirely distinct. In truth, they are parallel movements that have intersection through key figures and ideas. While there are substantive distinctions, both movements […]

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Chris Backert

In order to examine factors relating to the decline of traditional denominations, a greater understanding of how denominations are structured is necessary. In many ways, the structure of trans-local covenanted church collaboration is the primary focus of my recent posts. Therefore, it is critical to have a knowledge of the basic organizational patterns that have […]

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Chris Backert

Shifts in the understanding of systems and organizations are essential in helping to form the next iteration of church collaboration. In previous posts, I have been writing extensively about the history of church and cultural systems/organizations, as well as the very relevance of various shifts therein. In this post I shall explore new developments in the […]

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Chris Backert

The Internet has transformed the world of the twenty-first century in much the same way that the printing press transformed the fourteenth century. If the transition from the pre-modern to the modern world was ushered in through the printing press, then the transition from the modern to the postmodern world has been carried on the […]

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