Chris Backert

When thinking about fresh expressions of church, it is of foremost importance to re-engage the Scriptures and seek to discern a biblically and theologically faithful ecclesiology for this new era. A great deal can be learned by reexamining the Scriptures from the vantage point of the developments in the area of networks and mapping those […]

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Chris Backert

Distributed Responsibility and Organization Leadership in the post-modern, network style organization is dispersed throughout the organization. While modern organizations tended to operate with one singular leader or source of authority, in the new organization, authority is distributed. The organization is not held together by chains-of-command and reporting structures, but rather by a shared mission, vision, […]

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Chris Backert

Organizations have also been waking up to the transitions affecting the wider culture. While some astute business leaders and academicians have been predicting fundamental changes in the structure of organizations for some time, only in the last two decades have those changes begun to ripple throughout the business and non-profit worlds. Today, corporations are recognizing […]

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Chris Backert

Before we create new models and solutions, we need to understand the situation better, taking a closer look at the external factors that are facing the church in our current age. This will allow for a more effective synthesis of the key points of contrast between traditional church structures and contemporary environmental forces. From this, […]

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Chris Backert

The calling to participate in the mission of God led many families of shared belief to organize missionary societies for the sake of the propagation of the good news of Jesus to unreached peoples. William Carey is often noted as the father of modern missions for his instrumental role in the establishment of the first […]

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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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