I promise that my post this weekend questioning continued use of the term "emerging church" was just a setup for this post!
I had read Dan Kimball's post The Emerging Church: Five Years Later about a new network he Erwin McManus, and Scot McKnight were starting. Today, I found Dan's 20 November 2008 post about this new network initiative which is being called The Origins Project. Here's part of what Dan writes about the origin of this envisioned community:
The rest of Dan's post is here.
The more I felt myself not connecting to the theological direction and arguments happening in some of the emerging world - the more I felt the natural desire to be formally linking up with these friends who had the same passion. I also kept hearing over and over and over again when I was speaking places around the country, that many people still wanted to be discussing evangelism, especially amongst emerging generations. Yet many people were understandably confused by what was being noticed as streams of "the emerging church" as Ed Stetzer, Scot McKnight and Mark Driscoll were communicating about them in various articles and talks. So it was getting quite confusing as people were hearing all these things with so much variation occuring within the emerging church circles. I just know I was originally drawn into the emerging church world to be in it for mission, for evangelism, for seeing new followers of Jesus and whatever it takes innovatively without compromising the teachings of Jesus and Scripture.
So it just felt right to begin talking together with others to be encouraged, to be reminded of mission, to be fueled in creativity for the mission. Yet we all were theologically committed to the importance of doctrines like in the globally and multi-denominationally shaped Lausanne Covenant. (We are using this covenant as our statement of faith, so to speak, so from the beginning although we are diverse in many things we do, we are in alignment about the things within that).
I am someone who thrives on relationships with other leaders who are in this whole crazy mission together. So I have lately had such a boost of energy being around this group and dreaming about how we could all be partnering together in fueling this passion we all have. We are a diverse group for sure, but I believe there are a lot of people like this. So as we have been praying and thinking, we want to be extending this conversation and community to be together figuring out how to support, energize, dream and forge ahead on this evangelistic mission of Jesus.
I personally am glad to see the utilization of the Lausanne Covenant as a theological foundation for this new organization and I'm genuinely excited about learning more. Their website is here though it's obvious this network is just now being formed.