Ken Carter

Dr. Martyn Atkins once noted that the term “mixed economy” was transitioning to “mixed ecology.” Although the common presence of the word “mixed” allows for diversity of ecclesial forms, an ecological metaphor seems more organic and less commercial. At the same time, it also yields itself to conversation with key biblical texts that speak of […]

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Ken Carter

“If you make disciples, you always get church.  But if you make a church, you rarely get disciples.” — Mike Breen When the traditional elements of parish, church and neighborhood are stripped away, as they have become for so many, and when the primary context is a network or a third place, we are forced […]

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Ken Carter

In interpreting the place of “Fresh Expressions” in the life of the established Church of England, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams used the term “mixed economy of church.” He later regretted this term, although in conversation Graham Cray told us that Rowan was inspired in placing the concept at the center of the conversation. […]

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Ken Carter

There’s an important distinction to be made between “attractional church” and “missional church.” Some key differences include: An attractional church sees itself as the center toward which people and resources flow. A missional church sees itself as a gathering from which people and resources flow toward the world. Attractional absorbs people into community. Missional sends them […]

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Ken Carter

For most of our life and ministry, Pam and I served churches in Western North Carolina, which is really fertile soil.  A mentor told us early on that a preacher should never have a garden.  “If it is a good year,” he said, “you will get everyone else’s abundance; and if it is a bad year, you would […]

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Ken Carter

I have recently concluded a couple of weeks of study and renewal, a time that also included some teaching, meals with students and conversations with academic leaders. I lived in an extended stay hotel; I chose it because it was comfortable, economical and adjacent to the school where I spent time each day. A Sunday […]

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Ken Carter

The release of the Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Study has generated prominent headlines in the general and church media. “Christianity Faces Sharp Decline,” the Washington Post announced; “America is Getting Less Christian and Less Religious,” according to Huffington Post; and in Christianity Today, “Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles.” These and other summaries have been shared […]

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Ken Carter

One of the key insights in the Fresh Expressions movement is the emergence of the power of networks in the western world at the beginning of the 21st century.  As the team writes in Mission Shaped Church (MSC), “networks have not replaced neighborhoods, but they change them”; and, at the same time, “community is increasingly being […]

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