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How did a declining church, in an “unfriendly” city, rediscover a simple, ancient way of being God’s people?

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For many years now, the church in North America has heard figure after figure concerning the steady flow of young people leaving the church. In the midst of these troubling figures, there remains a glimmer of hope for these youth as they transition into young adults.

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Churches used to be inseparable from neighborhoods.
But today, the entire concept of a neighborhood has shifted. What should churches do?

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Chris Backert, national director of Fresh Expressions US, says that too few “churches in North America have really grappled with the post-Christian reality.” Yet he believes that if churches seriously invest in tactical, contextual communities, the American church “can still make the shifts that are needed to be fruitful in the future. If churches wait another 10 years, that will be challenging.”

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Is it possible for large churches to have a transformative, localized neighborhood presence?
According to David Fitch, not only is it possible—it’s essential for large churches who want to have a significant missional impact in this generation.

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Ann Marie Carley

If you’re like me, the thought of sitting in training to hear about the latest fad makes your soul die a little.

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Kris Beckert

For a number of years, the one-stop shop approach seemed to connect. It seemed to deliver.

Until it didn’t.

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J.R. Briggs

Last month, I was in a room in Central Pennsylvania with North American leaders and kingdom practitioners from around the country for a retreat. After lunch we centered our conversation around this question: “Where is the Church in North America heading and what are the implications?” For those who know me, you know I am passionate about discussing a great question. And this certainly is a significant one. 

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Ann Marie Carley

Today the people of God, the church, must be more Christ-like in action and we must not be afraid in doing so. The only way to do that is to return from the exile of our walls and re-enter the community in which we have been planted and called to be Christ!

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For our fresh expressions of Church to be truly Jesus-like communities, they must have a clear focus on those who need to receive God’s love, without any expectation of how those people will be able to respond.

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