Chris Backert

It is a highly regarded fact that, throughout most of history, the majority of human beings have dwelt in rural areas. According to the Population Reference Bureau, as recently as 1800, only 3 percent of the world’s population could be found in urban areas. This grew substantially to fourteen percent in 1900, but remained a […]

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Chris Backert

The declining influence of the church amongst emerging generations is no surprise to church growth analysts and statisticians who have been tracking these losses over decades in some cases. While the major opinion research firms tend to report that weekly church involvement in the United States hovers around 40 percent, there is a variety of […]

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Chris Backert

In a day of declining attendance and finances, church leaders of all kinds are looking for new options as they consider the future of their ministries. Denominational staff and executives that are often concerned with an overwhelming number of churches that are struggling to find a way forward in our changing world. Two Revived Churches […]

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Chris Backert

One of the things I most love about the ethos behind fresh expressions of church is that almost any church can start a fresh expression. In fact, I am quite sure that many churches could start several fresh expressions of church! Back in 2009, on our initial trip to the UK to try and understand […]

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Chris Backert

We all know the ugly truth – there are lots of people that attend our churches who simply come and “sit”. They are there several Sundays each year and usually find a similar location in the sanctuary each time they come. They are polite and delightful people and give a good word on the way […]

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Chris Backert

One of the things that I love most about the fresh expressions movement is that it is not overly complicated. While there is a deep theology and ecclesiology behind it, the principles and practices are relatively simple. However, for much of our collective Christian memory, Christianity has been normative. So, despite the simplicity of the […]

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Chris Backert

Not long ago someone asked me why they should choose to come to the Fresh Expressions National Gathering over some of the other larger events related to the church and mission taking place this year. That’s a great question, especially when you consider that if you go to those events you will have the opportunity […]

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Chris Backert

Many of my friends know that, at best, I am a “low-church” liturgist.  A few years ago, most of the rigidity of the liturgical calendar was more binding than loosing to me – both as a pastor and as a Christian.  While I certainly still lean away from the fixed rigidity of the liturgical calendar […]

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Chris Backert

For the first time in 13 years I was not serving as the pastor of a local congregation on Easter Sunday. It was a strange feeling to not be concerned about all the happenings on what some describe as the “Super Bowl Sunday” of the Church year! So, I had time to go to Starbucks. […]

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Chris Backert

It’s no surprise to any church leader (or most members for that matter) that, regardless of denomination, the church in the western world is undergoing transitions of seismic proportion, the likes of which have not been felt in several hundred years. The challenges are twofold. They are external (rooted in the cultural shifts at large) […]

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