Ryan Bolger lists some “innovations” of the emerging churches, or what they add to the traditional model. I think he looking here at the emergent/pomo models rather than cyberchurch or house church and they read a little simplistic, but they could be helpful for some.
. A return to Jesus/sermon on the mount as central to faith, thus ethics are central to their concerns as opposed to simply heart questions…
. Emerging Churches do not believe in a secular realm, thus, church services will look very secular to the outsider. Correspondingly, emerging church people see many things in the so-called secular realm as spiritual (they see God’s fingerprints everywhere).
. They give space to outsiders (including other faiths) and focus on similarities and relationship rather than differences. They do not gloss over differences, but they get the relationship part right first.
. Hospitality becomes central practice of the church — some churches see this as essential discipleship — they train people how to open up their homes. Hospitality often manifests in service to others, especially in the realm formerly known as secular…
. Creativity is an expression of worship to God, giving honor to the Creator by creating. Church services honor God to the extent so that creativity occurs by all participants. Leaders are responsible to facilitate these venues, to help provide a context for this very physical, material encounter with God. These contexts provide space for worship production by all.
. Leading is not fixed around the single leader — leaders lead, but the single leader leading all things is anathema. Those who are gifted to lead particular activities, because of their passion, expertise, or wisdom, are able to do so without restraint. A move in the direction of consensus and shared leadership occurs. • The spiritual has to do with all of life and not simply with acts of devotion. Thus, there is an embrace of those pre-modern and pre-Reformation practices that recognize God’s work everywhere, not simply in the quiet time or worship service.