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From the Editor

Has your community changed in the last 10 years? In recent weeks I've asked that question to dozens of pastors, and not one has said, "No." Everyone, whether in urban, suburban, small town, or rural settings, has noticed significant shifts in the communities surrounding their churches.

The most conspicuous change has been the increasing diversity of the population. Racial, religious, and economic differences are increasingly evident. This, of course, can be unsettling to some, but it presents tremendous opportunities for ministry. Every congregation is aware of human needs in its own back yard.

Just this week I heard from my friend Dr. Gerald Durley, pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, who described the "regentrifying" of that city:

"In the 1980s and early '90s, many urban congregations were predominantly black, and suburban congregations were predominantly white, but as urban sprawl (and traffic snarls, longer commutes, higher gasoline prices, etc.) began to take its ...

January/February
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