Sunday, December 05, 2004

I don't like the Emerging Church

I have been talking to a lot of people recently who have been asking me about plans for next year, so I've been explaining a few of my plans to move away from traditional stuff at Frankston to try something new in the Tyabb/Somy area.

I hesitate when saying I want to create an 'emerging church'. I don't know why, but for some reason i just have this perception that people view the emerging church as the cool new bandwagon to be jumped on, and I react very strongly to doing stuff cos its cool. Its becoming so big now its getting put in a basket i don't necessarily want to jump into.

Its just that I really resonate with the people who call themselves 'emerging church' and the way that they think and approach stuff.

So I guess I'm an anti emerging church person who's into the emerging church...


Garth said...

Yes that what I'm picking up too (just from reading stuff). And I guess I fell the same. I think for me it's because there are bandwagoners out there copying the concept and marketing cafe churches rather than simply moving in God and re-interpreting what church can be. Doing something authentic and completely different.

I also think that if I were to be labelled as bandwagoning the next cool thing I would feel tremendously undermined and want to lose the tag immediately, as I crave the authentic. I would hate to be labelled as something that wreaks of copying, and marketing.

Gareth Williams said...

Personally I'm not too worried by the naming of things. I'll just do what I do and if it helps to call it emerging then I'll do that, if not I won't.
I guess my big question is, "Shouldn't all churches be emerging?"

Digger said...

Yeah good call from both g men there.

I agree with you Garth, I'm just over people jumping on the bandwagon cos its the cool new thing. If God's calling you to do something new, do it.

Bugger what its called, just do it.

Christop said...

The bandwagon thing has been kind of bothering me a bit too.
Someone I know recently went to a workshop on emerging worship, run by Mark persen from Urban Seed and Cityside Baptist Church. This was the first time this person had heard anything substatial about emerging church, and they got all enthusiastic about it really quickly, and basically just wanted to take what Mark had been doing at Cityside and apply it directly to their church in Ballarat - one of the things the emerging church is supposed to not be about.

It've also been kind of bothered about emerging church's cool image. I can just imagine Paul saying, 'I became cool to win those who were cool and I became uncool to win those who were uncool.' I think it's extremely easy to become obsessed with being cool thinking that cool is relelvant. I think Christians are often more relevant if they're just honest about who they are rather than trying to be cool.

Rivett said...

I agree with most of what has been said here. I think that whenever the Church proclaims the gospel and points towards the kingdom of God it is relevant and continualy emerging. I think we do get too caught up in marketing and target audiences, doesn't Jesus say 'when I am lifted up I will draw all people to me.' Now what the hell does that mean. I'll blog it!

Digger said...

Gareth I'm not sure if all churches should be 'emerging'-whatever that means. There needs to be different types of churche for different types of people, and established churches suit a lot of people.

One definition I heard is that the emerging church takes culture seriously. So by definition, perhaps all churches should be.

For some, that may mean taking seriously the culture of older people liking hymns and sermons, and for others, realising thats not the best approach.

Christiana said...

I think there is nothing wrong with casting a broad net, trying to get as many people through the door as possible. And further, I think that there are a lot of people who, for whatever reason, have deep-seated reservations about giving themselves to Christ. If the messages are too serious or too intense right away, a lot of those people will leave and not come back.

Having said that, I think it's very important for the same church to offer deeper and more mature paths for people to pursue when they're ready.

Gareth Williams said...

Garth, when I mean all churches should be emerging I mean that they should be growing. The church should be a place where people are being transformed no matter if they keep the same service plan from 1863 or not.
I guess we just proved what WE mean by emerging, didn't we?