Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Nailing Jello to the Wall

Guess what? A definition and model of the emerging church isn't likely to be nailed down anytime soon. So for all of us asking, "just what is emerging?" there really aren't 3 easy steps to the emerging church.

There is a common thought process that brings people into the emerging conversation. I think Ringo identifies this idea very clearly:

The exciting thing about the emerging church is that it is hundreds of thousands of people "the church" all seeking to find relevant ways to reach the world with the gospel.

But that could be almost anyone, right? I think it can be narrowed down to those believers who see that current models and methods are not working. Where things get tricky is that the expression of this will take many different forms.

C.M. Keel, Sr. on Club Emerge said this:

When it comes down to it, while we all might have differing ideas about how to go about doing this, there is an overwhelming cry among the movement that the Church needs to come out of obscurity and be who God has called her to be.

Some of us may start new venues of worship, some may stay, choose to remain in their respective denominations. Some may meet in homes and coffee houses, but, we are nothing more than what the Church, the true catholic Church, has always been. And that means that we have already been defined.

While each of us pursue the expression that is on our heart, it is really important that we don't narrowly define that as the only valid expression of emerging church.

Especially as we deconstruct/reconstruct beliefs, we should keep in mind that others may see things differently. I appreciate all of the respectful disagreements I have observed on various blogs. How can we learn, if not by listening to those who see things from a different perspective.

An understanding that there will be many forms of expressing missional community is necessary. In our passion to pursue the vision that God has written on our heart, let's be careful not to step on one another's toes. In fact, we should applaud and celebrate the many facets of the emerging church.


Pam Hogeweide said...

Well said, Grace. My sentiments exactly. Though someone just tonight expressed to me there concern that the emerging church movement could birth individualistic Christians (her word) that are doing their own thing their own way. Hm, that's something to think about.

grace said...

"doing their own thing their own way"

Well imagine that! What if everyone had something to offer and contribute?

I think individualistic is a label applied by those who fear something is going to be out of control. Sure there might be a few who go off into error.

Can't we trust that the holy spirit is at work in peoples' hearts, and if they are listening he will bring them into right alignment with the body of Christ.

Personally, I think God is going to do an incredible work of joining up those who are following Him. It just might not look like what everyone is used to.

Pam Hogeweide said...

i'm with you.......