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The Rise of English Youth Churches: What the Global Church Can Learn From This Latest British Invention

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The United Kingdom, where only ten percent of youth attend church weekly, has recently witnessed an upstart missional strategy. called "Youth Churches." It is as the name implies-churches composed entirely of youth and marketed to attract this alienated group through popular music and worship. The author attended an international conference at Oxford University at which lectures were presented on this growing phenomenon. It provoked such an interest that he subsequently traveled to England and spent some time doing field research, including interviews with leaders of several denominations. This paper presents what the author discovered. It is written as primarily a journalistic, theological reflection piece based upon observations and face-to-face interviews with protagonists and thoughtful commentators connected with youth church movements in the UK.1 It does not claim to be a fully formed theoretical treatment of the topic!2


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