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Four Philadelphia Churches

It's not church polity and ecclesiology that make churches work. A caring mood, a Spirit-led harmony of purpose, and a spontaneous outreach to the needy world develop unity out of diversity.

Everyone wants to know how "successful" churches do it. What makes a church alive with the Spirit?

Size doesn't matter. The world's full of huge churches that are spiritually dead. Location doesn't matter. Many churches thrive in spite of geographical handicaps. Money doesn't matter. Misused wealth has been the ruin of many congregations while spiritual prosperity has been achieved on shoestring budgets.

To glean a few insights about a cross-section of congregations, we went to veteran church observer Russ Hitt, former editor of Eternity, and author of a recent series of articles in that publication on churches in various sections of the country. We asked him to select four churches in his own turf of Philadelphia, describe them, and make observations about what makes them work.

Four churches in Philadelphia. Each with a membership of about 300. Each nurturing and instructing believers. Each developing its vision of mission and outreach. Each serving its community.

But they are so different ...

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