Fresh Expressions and Emerging Church: Historical Accuracy is Important

Good article on emerging church and “fresh expressions in the Sunday Times yesterday. It always excites me to see new steps taken in this direction. And great to see the Church of England still committed to fresh expressions.

20 years ago we were getting ourselves into BIG trouble for starting new churches like these but these days its all quite acceptable and even necessary. Good.

I do share Maggi Dawn’s frustration, however, that articles like these so easily discard historical accuracy for an upbeat preppy story, one that brings attention to a single organization rather than the wider church family from where it emerged. As Maggi points out in her post today, these models were happening in the 90’s and may of them in the 80’s. She knows because she was there. So was I.

“Don’t get me wrong – I’m extremely happy that the Church of England and the Methodist Church have been imaginative and bold enough to open up to these new ventures. I just think it might be good to keep a grip on historical accuracy…” Maggi Dawn

I see the same historical reductionism in the USA, sometimes even worse. I was reading a new e-book last week called Preaching and the Emerging Church – a good book on Protestant style preaching in the emerging church [yes, you can still find it] but spoiled by rampant historical accuracies. Where are the peer-reviews when we need them? Where is accountability? Surely its not too hard to send a manuscript around to a few people both inside AND OUTSIDE one’s little cul-de-sac to get a second opinion?

Related on TSK: 10 types of emerging church that will no longer upset your grandfather


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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