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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Kris Beckert

This is the first in a series of posts reflecting on the Fresh Expressions National Gathering. “Take a sledgehammer to that tank.” No, that’s not quite the usual way we’d expect a church conference to begin—but the Fresh Expressions National Gathering is really not your usual church conference. The statement made by Fresh Expressions Northeast Regional […]

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London, England, 1991. I was an awkward 16 year old seated by myself in my history class at school. My awkwardness stemmed not only from the turbulence of adolescence. To add to my agonies I was a Christian, a desperately unpopular choice in my world. Even my kindest friends thought I was weird. I agreed; […]

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic study of Christian community makes it clear that true community is not an easy thing.  In fact, it is not a human possibility, for only the Holy Spirit can produce a community that actually functions as the body of Christ.  One of the principal obstacles to embodying a biblical vision of life […]

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Carey Sims

In the midst of overscheduled lives and increasing demands, how do we gain access into busy lives to share the good news?  As we think about Fresh Expressions of church and this idea of meeting people where they are – dare I say, interrupting their lives, I am reminded that sometimes people want to be […]

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I’ll admit it: the moment I walked in the doors as a pastoral candidate two days out of seminary, I was seduced.  The new church extension had it all: an artful foyer, spacious offices, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and a multi-purpose hall filled with sport equipment.  What got me wasn’t just the rooms themselves but what […]

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Gannon Sims

Brian McLaren’s recent commentary at Patheos.com gives yet another example of the either/or approach that leaves the church stuck in neutral. Whether you agree with him or pray for him, on this issue McLaren gets this much right: For the most part, seminary grads are pleased with their education. All too often, churches without a […]

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I’ve published a book on the issuu.comweb site and it’s for pastors and members of churches that were thriving in the fifties but are now struggling to survive.  It’s free, it’s online, and you can read the whole thing in less than an hour. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction: When my daughter, Ellie, was […]

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A little over a week ago, my cousin-in-law Josh, asked how one might go about transitioning traditional churches into “something more missional at its core.” Since I have banged my head against this wall for years in several different churches, my response will be a mixture of, “here’s where I failed,” and “here’s what I […]

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