Monday, December 18, 2006

emergers in non-emerging church contexts

scot mcknight (technorati's #1 emerging church blogger) recently posted about his churching in a non-emerging church context - Willow Creek Community Church. In fact, many define the emerging church as reacting against the seeker sensitive movement.

I find myself in the same situation. Though for 18 years I went to what could arguably be called one of the first emerging churches (even back when it was definitely a seeker sensitive church), since 2001 Beth and I have attended a neotraditional church closer to our home near Baltimore. I have not been uncomfortable in that context. In many ways, I find it to be merely a cross-cultural situation.

I'm curious:

how many emergesque readers would consider themselves emergers in emerging churches and how many would consider themselves emergers in non-emerging contexts?

11 comments:

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

That is a great question. I am somewhere in the middle. We attend a very seeker sensitive church that is rapidly becoming mega (at least for our context). However, it has intentionally located itself in a specific community that is not typical of such a church (which is great). We are the directors of a YWAM ministry, an organization that is very emergent in some respects and very NON-emergent in others. Our specific ministry in Winnipeg does not go under the label "emergent", but we are certainly far more so than most.

Peace,
Jamie

Pastor Astor said...

I have left a non emerging church situation and we meet with some families and try to live the gospel where we are at.

Stephen said...

thanks guys.

i think that one of the things that this kind of question brings out is the extend to which the ec really is a conversation that occurs to a large extent online. (i'm not depreciating the potential significance of online relationships).

Rick Meigs said...

I have much in common with and enjoy immensely the heart of the emerging church. Its missional focus is dear to me. That being said, the Father has clearly called me to a non-emerging faith community. It is a classic contemporary boomer church that is being stirred by God towards a more relational, community, missional passion.

We do have an “emerging church within a church” of about 100. I love going to their gatherings. They have a voice in the church and their leaders are being used of God to move the entire faith community towards a more missional focus.

Having observed just about every new movement that has swept through the church since the Jesus Movement, I really believe that the legacy of ECM will be its impact on the Body as a whole. Few of these movements have ever sustained themselves over the long-term. Instead, they have been a corrective influence within the entire Body. Twenty years (or less) from now we will be remembering the ECM and debating its influence, but it will not exist as we know it today.

djchuang said...

*hand raised* I supposed I can be counted among the emergers in a non-emerging church context. While my own theological exploration may be off the map, I have family considerations to factor in, and sought a church that would be in proximity and fitting for my whole family unit, and not just my own individual faith journey.

Michael W. Kruse said...

I am in a church that is Mainline PCUSA with an Evangelical edge to it. My pastor keeps tabs on the emerging church conversation and regularly introduces questions and ideas into our congregational setting. I know what his doing. Some of the younger folks understand what his doing. But he almost never uses terms like emergent or emerging.

There is a solid core that is about developing authentic relationships. That is what keeps me there.

Anonymous said...

I have shifted from non-emerging to emerging in past few months. An 850 mile move made the church change relatively easy. It is less different than I tought it would be. And then again, it is so different. What's different is not so much the content, but rather the parameters of expression. The unwritten rules are different.

John said...

i'm not sure what defines an "emerging church" - there are so many different strains of new ecclesia "emerging" today. none the less, we're part of a mega-church community about 1/2 hour from our home - seeker oriented, stage/performance driven, top down leadership structure, yet a strong focus on giving back to the local community. you might even say it has a missional focus.

we're getting together more with friends, having meals together, attempting to simply "live as church" in small gatherings, yet the mega-church offers community resources that "house church" could never achieve. perhaps there is synergy here.

Anonymous said...

I would consider myself an 'emerger' pastoring in a non-emergent context - a mainline protestant presbyterian (USA) congregation.

My personal faith journey has moved me quite a ways beyond the confines of evangelicalism, and I've been struggling a lot to understand the nature of faith in a post-modern context, but for the most past I think my congregation which I've pastored for over a year as a recent seminary grad could probably care less.

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We do have an “emerging church within a church” of about 100. I love going to their gatherings. They have a voice in the church and their leaders are being used of God to move the entire faith community towards a more missional most past I think my congregation which I've pastored for over a year as a recent seminary grad could probably care less.

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Anonymous said...

stephen,

"i think that one of the things that this kind of question brings out is the extend to which the ec really is a conversation that occurs to a large extent online. (i'm not depreciating the potential significance of online relationships)."

i've been asking myself this same question for a little while now. coule you take the lead and help us unpack this? could we start a new conversation about this? im not sure of the protocol, but i think this is a conversation that deserves length and many views.

thanks, brad