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Axis Denied (part 2): What should we learn from the demise of Willow’s Next-Gen ministry?

In part one Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California, discussed the inherent difficulties of the church-within-a-church model that has been popular with churches wanting to reach the next generation. In many cases the divergent values between the mother church and the alternative "Gen X" service cause friction - with the younger leaders usually getting burned.

Seeming to contradict Kimball's experience, Scot McKnight reports that Gene Appel, a pastor at Willow Creek, said "that it was Axis that had led to dramatic changes in the rest of the church." And Willow had adopted enough of the younger generation's values "to call into question the viability of Axis having a separable service." Was Axis really a victim of its own success?

In part two, Kimball shares his story of leading a Next-Gen ministry within an existing church, and bids a heartfelt farewell to Axis.

What is the answer to the church-within-a-church dilemma? I don't know. For me, after leading an alternative ...

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