Whats happening in the church, NOW?

My comments on today’s World Mag article on the death of the Emerging Church.

Firstly, I didn’t kill it. Really. I was framed.


Secondly, Anthony Bradley does a great job on the article and is reeling in a ton of comments. Well done! Although the comments do seem to degenerate into a little group of 5 or 6 names which makes me so glad I am not using the word anymore in my own realm of things – only as a historical marker {a point that anthony makes very well}.

Thirdly, I have said enough on this whole topic {and cant even be bothered adding some links}, because I have moved on to the future that is leaking in through my front door. I am far more interested in the things that have been happening over the past year or so and it is these new and exciting things that drive me.

Big question, that is not being asked very much re: the EC, as well as “What did we learn?” is the question, “What should we be looking at right now?” So I will ask you.

What do YOU think are the biggest shifts shaking the globe as the next generation starts their own spiritual communities? What kind of things are happening now in the church that one day we wish we would have paid closer attention?


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.


  • Toby Taff says:

    i was thinking to myself as i was driving the other day, how long does the word emerging fit the reality of the changes taking place in the american church. For the past 5+ years i’ve traveled my little part of west and central texas explaining the concept of missional to very traditional congregations in small town america and have received wonderful feed back. My friends who are now pastoring in small west texas churches are moving their traditional congregations into missional living and service without much resistance because the reality is understanding life in missional terms is freeing to many people. I have watched as friends have moved to incorporate church traditions long since removed from texas baptist life, such as following the church calendar, observing ash wednesday, holy week, and advent, seamlessly back into traditional, small rural congregations with great success and meaningfulness. I think I have watched as a conversation we had at suddenly seminary 6 or 7 years ago about convergence into the mainstream of church has occurred, at least where I am. I think many of the ideas that the EC called on have been let out of the bag and have started permeating church culture in different ways, and i look forward to seeing how they continue to do so whether referred to as EC or not.

  • Clay says:

    So what exactly have you seen “leak in your front door” over the last year? What is it that you see on the horizon that’s getting you excited?

  • I just heard Cornel West tonight talk about Jesus and Haiti – and it’s pretty clear that the US church has missed out by not paying greater attention to the voice of the African American community.

  • tsk says:

    Toby, i have also noticed in my travels the normalizing of practices and thinking used to be considered novel or experimental, or at worst, heretical. thus my post a few months ago on the maturing of the movement and after 2009, it no longer being a radical and controversial movement.
    this is good and healthy, as long as those changes bring us back to God’s ways. in most cases i think they do.
    thanks becky.
    clay – 2 years ago i was talking to groups about sustainability and moving towards missional enterprises. that was right before the recession and now i dont sound as much like a dork as i did when i was saying those things. this is still a big issue
    the impact of the arab world is huge right now, both our response to islam and the various movements that are taking place that are not yet fully visible. watch my blog for more in the near future
    also the impact of social media and new media on the church – again – i blog about this a lot and this summer will see our second cyberchurch symposium in london. stay posted
    also check out my friend fritz kling’s book – the meeting of the waters link

  • But Andrew, wouldn’t the next big thing be…emerging. (Tongue in cheek)

  • I dont understand how they can talk about the emerging church has died? If the church dosent emerge/morph into something completely new, Christianity will dissapear from the planet – it will maybe stay on as a religion, but without any relevance. More and more people leave the established church and we need something new to arrive soon!
    It is very sad to see how people in the established church react in hatred and fear towards what God is doing. Just do a search on emergent church on youtube, and see all the “hate/fear” videos warning you about it. How sad is that?
    I am afraid that the “church” will die in one or two generations, if we dont open op to what God is doing.
    – Olezen

  • Leon Marais says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I think Olezen hits the mark! I’m a pastor in a smallish church in South Africa and we have a lot of negative feedback on the EC. But I really believe it is the only way forward! The problem in our context is that we have a lot of very traditional churches (something like almost 70% of South Africans used to say that they are Christians – though we don’t really believe the stats!!), but they (churches) are not very relevant to the crises in our country.
    The EC has really brought new energy and impetus, and we are experiencing some exciting changes regarding missionality in our traditional churches. If we could only get past the negativity!!!

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