Yesterday I preached at Stromness Baptist Church and we looked at Acts 2 and the early church. I brought up the topic of “emerging church” which, although I have been connected with this church and speaking there for nearly 2 years, I have never really mentioned. But I wanted the folk there to be conversant with the emerging church, especially if it turns out to be a significant movement that impacts the churches up here for the better. I chose about 18 books to bring along and either quote from or mention as part of this movement. I added quite a Scottish touch to it – with a strong mention of the Late Late Service in Glasgow (1991) but also weaved in other countries to give a bigger picture regarding the strengths and weaknesses of this movement.
I also mentioned the Co-op we are developing here in Stromness that will take the shape of a community but will look quite different.
After the message, people in the church were able to identify with many of the characteristics of the EC from Gibbs/bBolgers book “Emerging Churches”, especially the shared leadership and move away from celebrity based services and hierarchical pastoral teams. Stromness Baptist is about 3 years old and has chosen to not have any paid professionals or “pastors” but rather be led by a team of elders.
This Wednesday I am hosting an evening with some leaders of the Emerging Church movement. So if you are near the top of Scotland and have some time, come along. Its a free event and we will provide coffee and tea and biscuits. All are welcome, except Methodists and Baptists. Naaaaa . . . just kidding about the Methodists! Heres the skinny:
The Emerging Church Movement: Is it the latest move of the Spirit or just another trendy quick-fix? Or the logical conclusion of missions thinking in the home country? What impact is it making and what are the ramifications? Is the criticism all true? Hear some of the leading voices in UK answer those questions, and other totally unrelated and somewhat trivial questions, from their point of view.
Hosted by the congenial Andrew Jones, an aging blogger of declining significance living in relative obscurity on a remote northern island.
PANEL [with my illustrious guests]:
Jonny Baker, London: emergingchurch.info, co-author of Alternative Worship
Mark Berry, Telford: the “Missionary Man“, Core Community and the neo-monastic movement.
Richard White, Liverpool: Dream, ACUK, missional cells everywhere.
Jim Barker, Oxford: Abbot of an emerging new missional/monastic community
PARTICIPATION [from our fiercely critical but appreciative audience]
Details: Wednesday July 4th, 2007, 7:30pm to 9:00pm, Stromness Town Hall, Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland. Hosted by Stromness Baptist Church and CMS.
This event will be videotaped for internet. Your participation may cause your face or your comments to be narrowcast on a blog or website.