Emerging Church the Fastest Growing Group in Christianity?

Great to see the Americans getting on board with the emerging church, which is being described as the fastest growing group in Christianity. CBS investigates with a special report. Unfortunately, their video focuses on the worship service based churches and does not go out to the house churches and cell churches where much of this growth is happening.

HT: Smart Christian

Want to support it? We have a global emerging church leaders roundtable next month in Germany with a special emphasis on underground ministries, street ministries and new church movements among the postmodern subcultures. 50 leaders from around the world have been invited from countries as diverse as Peru, Russia and Macedonia. Many of them need help with their airfares – and this is where you might be able to help. Let me know in an email if you want to play.

Want to complain about it? Steve Camp is hosting Gary Gilley’s anti-emerging church blog post.

Also, Emerging Church Research has the TOP 50 Emerging Church Blogs. Nice to see so many familiar names. BackyardMissionary is not hypertexted so here is the link [hint – hamo is worth reading]

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Top emerging church blogs

    I found this interesting. The Kiwi posted a list of the Top 50 Emerging Church blogs (generated by Technocrati, I believe) from someone who is researching such things. Im sure the list is familiar to many of you, but its still interesting…

  • I love that you added a “want to complain about it” section…perfect

  • Truth Seeker says:

    I think it’s actually sad to see Americans, or anybody for that matter, joining the EC movement. Oh well! Let em go! Many of us will continue to stand on the Rock of Christ and when the others come floating back we will open them with open arms of love, as we always have.

  • i dont think people are joining a movement
    but many are finding God and forming new communities that look different from 1959 and 1759
    As i see it, people are hearing God’s call to take his mission seriously and bring the gospel to the new emerging culture around them – the result . . . is emerging church as a biblically faithful and contextually appropriate response – at least that is the target.
    am i repeating myself again?

  • Brian Beckstrom says:

    I’m really interested in this estimate that the emergent community may be as large as 20 milion. Unfortunately the article from CBS doesn’t indicate the source for that number…does anyone know what it is?

  • scotty says:

    I am assuming they are citing to Barna’s latest book

  • scotty says:

    “citing to”…”referring to”..you know what I mean

  • TSK,
    Thanks for the shout out about this TV show. I gave Antonio the number from Barna, and said that it refers to a bigger than emerging group but that emerging group resonates with that group.
    And, if you’d like to know that this TV interview fascinated Antonio, here’s the next step: they’ve invited me to come to the studio Thursday for a one on one interview that will be a TV show at some future date. (Sunday?) I think they call it “People in the News” or something like that.(I’ve not got the details down, but something like that. Maybe it isn’t 30 minutes, but still the whole notion got Antonio’s interest.)

  • Now the question about the blog numbers: How did you get your blog to appear twice? You’re both 1st and 3d. I’m surrounded brother.

  • bob says:

    yeah! What up with that?? Number 11 would like to get bumped up to number 10 if someone weren’t hogging 2 spaces upstream! 🙂

  • not my fault.
    technorati is not smart enough to attribute links to the same blog when people link to the full address
    others who get counted twice complain also – because the additional links would give us all a rather healthy total score.
    and scot – fantastic news about CBS. emerging church for me has been – for the last decade – the kind of house churches and organic groupings that Barna’s number includes so i dont have a big problem with a large number
    DAWN Ministries USA has their finger on the pulse and might be able to substantiate the approximate number of simple church believers in the emerging church. Mike Steele is the guy to ask.

  • hamo says:

    thanks big fella!

  • Mike Clawson says:

    I was one of the guys interviewed for this piece, and just FYI, they were going to come out and film our little house church/cell church instead of the worship service at Chicagoland Community Church, except that they couldn’t get a newscrew to come all the way out to where we are over 4th of July weekend (it’s a big holiday here in the States).
    But we were happy with the piece overall anyway.

  • iggy says:

    One the Steve Camp Blog…
    Wow, I was just listening to some Steve Camp and telling my wife how he used to stand against commercialization of Christian music… he believed as Keith Green did that it was free from God, and then to be given freely to all as it was not theirs to begin with and if someone could pay… great, if not it was a ministry…. I was contemplating uploading some of his songs that meant something to me “back in the day” to my online radio station… as I have considered that view very cool and a big “postmodern” and as I was retelling it to my wife, I was wondering a bit about him and what he has been doing….
    So this is very disappointing… and another case of “missing the point”.
    I wanted to point out that many of the links of teachers are held high in “emerging” circles… (the teaching one, not Rush Limpbo), and also that he is just quoting small out of context quotes… as they are being ripped out of the bigger conversation and place in a “I’m right, your wrong” format. I just don’t care to go there. They are looking for just some point to say ALL is wrong… but miss that there are major issues in their own systematic religiosity. They miss that man’s reasoning is not the pinnacle of our faith… but Jesus is!
    His assumption we ALL think alike and ALL hold to the same view and doctrines… even that we ALL “have trouble with absolutes” … missed the fine point that we are not against it, just not sure that the modern assertion is biblical … which is strange to say since we ALL hold the bible so low in our beliefs and values… (Tongue was in cheek as I said that).
    I see that they miss that Jesus Himself said that we cannot understand the bible without be indwelled by the holy Spirit, so to assert that one can reason and just read the bible and get saved… without Jesus revealing… is way off track. (I have had two people argue over this on my blog as they attempted to prove that it is propositional truth that we must old told to be saved and I kept pointing out that it is Jesus who saves us John 5:39-40).
    Right now I have some guy in the same town who is writing why he is “anti-missional” and pointed out that Jesus told us to go on the Great Commission… and that was to spread the Kingdom of God… which includes but is not just about getting out of hell… He really has just created a straw man to knock down as he is like Steve camp, missing the point.
    As far as deconstructing… that may be the “scholarly” definition, yet, I do not see that as the practical working out of emerging deconstructionism. I see rather the freedom to question and test and see if it is a “man made tradition” or “sound doctrine” and that we have in fact started to transcend the immature arguments that cause divisiveness and focus on the essentials and core of the teachings of Christ (all found in the bible). I have never been in a group of people who can engage in a conversation, with respect and totally disagree and still see the person is more important than “being right”. That does not diminish “right from wrong” but I see it raises it to be more valuable in that it allows the Holy Spirit room to grow people over traditions and man made doctrines.
    Forgive me for rambling a bit there Andrew.

  • hi iggy
    like you, i was at first disappointed to see Steve Camp so vehemently opposed to emerging church [i have never used vehemently before – hope i am using it correctly] but i have a huge amount of respect for him and i like the way he interacts with commenters.
    i have also seen him be open to people like dan kimball and i would expect when he encounters more emerging church people with similar doctrinal stances to himself, then he will be more open to the fact that some emerging ministry is not too different from his approach.
    but his prophetic voice is important and i hope he will never capitulate to the commercialism of the church but stay sharp and pointed, as prophets need to be.
    also – interesting to see the word “missional” get beaten on. words have very short life spans in the church, even good ones.

  • iggy says:

    Actually I reread my post and realized i left some words out…. typing too fast I guess.
    this paragraph should read:
    “Right now I have some guy in the same town who is writing why he is “anti-missional” and I pointed out that Jesus told us to go on the Great Commission… and that was to spread the Kingdom of God… which includes but is not just about getting out of hell… He really has just created a straw man to knock down as he is like Steve camp, missing the point.”
    I never ceases to amaze me how far some iwll go to be “right” that emergent is “wrong”.
    I agree with you on the prphetic voice of Steve Camp.. I ssang one of his songs in church once…
    “Don’t tell then Jesus loves them, Unless youre ready to love them first.”
    This is very “emergent style thinking”… I even contemplated writing a comment using his lyrics to show that he really is one of us! LOL!
    Steve needs to remember that there was a day that a Christian rocker was once “of the devil” and the church did not accept the idea of rock music in the church or to be used in evangelism… to cut to the quick I see many have begun to follow men… ala John MacArther… and listening to them, and not really checking out what is really happening… just like Chuck Smith Sr. for example…
    really i have had a bit of fun with the guy in town here as the more he writes, the more ignorant he sounds… In that I have no problem of point people to his blog and saying… what he is against is the great commission… as in his attacks on me and the lack of love and grace he shows… if it wasn’t for real it would be a great parody!

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