Voices on Emerging Church

Daryl Dash on Emerging Church

“Despite its faults, I believe there’s still something at the core of the emerging church that’s worth embracing. Here’s what I appreciate. First, I’m grateful for the rediscovery of the ancient practices and beliefs of the church. For a Baptist like me, it’s refreshing to experience the richness and depth of the liturgy and some of the ancient writings of the church. The emerging church emphasizes the past, and suggests that we can learn from the pre-modern world as we move into what some call a postmodern one. You don’t have to be emerging to appreciate vintage Christianity, but I appreciate this emphasis.” Link:

Glenn Kaiser on Emerging Church

“Overall, what I’ve seen and experienced with groups that might be considered part of the ”emerging church“ is good. As in any movement- and I indeed think it has become large enough to be considered a movement- when the Holy Spirit spawns it and is moving… it’s a good thing with great potential!”

Glenn’s concepts below are pretty good. I wish he would have included some of the “emergent behaviors” we are seeing organizationally, and the 5000 figure (wrongly attributed to me) has been wrong, although the numbers are increasing and if we include many of USA’s house churches (3000?) then the number will be correct shortly.

BTW – i met Glenn at Cornerstone ’99. Many of the emerging church people turn up to Cornerstone each year, some for the Underground Railroad Roundtable.

Emerging Church Concepts, according to Glenn Kaiser:

“EMERGING CHURCH” CONCEPTS

Primarily “young” (as teens, twenty and early thirties aged) people

“Unusual” meeting places (pizza parlors, warehouses, people’s homes, etc.), i.e., not “normal” church buildings with steeples, etc..

Sometimes founded by or an extension of “mainline” or denominational churches but often non-denominational or independent gatherings

Some emerging churches began with a basic, shared vision of a number of Christians, often with informal Bible Studies, concerts or coffeehouse ministries that blossomed into greater commitment and mission springing from those attending regularly

“Alternative” Christians experimenting with and/or naturally producing fresh, alternative methods of serving God and others

Many such churches are fairly small in number, keying on relationship and community, desiring to experience God and sharing an equal respect for pastor and non-“leadership” alike

Some alternative fellowships are very involved with social justice issues, i.e., caring for the poor, taking stands on political issues that affect the poor and marginalized

Some of these groups seek to better experience and model Book of Acts (earliest) Christianity as opposed to typical Western Christian church traditions and methods

Typical alternative church concepts include highly valuing the arts and enjoying creative artistic expressions of the gospel of Christ and in worship

Futurist Tom Sine says that those involved in alternative churches are “reinventing and bringing renewal to the church”

There are those who find such churches more comfortable with regard to atmosphere, dress and other traditional “culture codes” that have more to do with other older American cultural styles than morality or actual intimacy with God and spiritual intimacy with the people attending

The U.S. Center for World Mission estimates some 5,000 churches focusing on alternative, postmodern worship have been planted in the U.S..

About the mid-to-late 1990s many of these new paradigms of “doing church” began to emerge, doing things similarly but often quite differently than even contemporary “mega-churches” such as Willow Creek, differently than Calvary Chapel or Vineyard would do

In some cases, Gregorian chant and other very old, historic rituals and rites are brought into the meetings while at other times- or even simultaneously- internet and/or multimedia imagery and music might be used. Ancient AND modern rites are often on display.

Humor is often used in telling Gospel stories, personal anecdotes are cited for people to hear how such truths interact in everyday situations. A rather casual “dressed-down” style is often used in preaching and teaching

The point is communication in the “native language”, only in this case the “natives” are often non-churched postmodern urban or suburban

People are seeking authenticity and life rather than cold structures and institutions. Most leadership in emerging churches are deeply involved in sharing a personal, relational Jesus and His ways with those who gather

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

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