Part 2: Emergent Church Rant...

Posted by Teen Bean

so wow... what blows me away most about this idea of Emergent Church is that there are a group of people that have noticed there is something wrong with the 'modern church' and are actually doing something about it. I have often come across this statement that emergent church tends to draw in the unchurched and the over-churched. Those two groups of people just happen to be the people that often don't fit in with the idea of traditional church... the trouble makers (no wonder i identify so well!).

i've been exploring the emergent church over the last couple of months and am starting to realize what a big thing it is... and am getting more excited with blending this exploration into my graduate course studies. I think this idea of church really started kicking off while i was in England. I was part of something called a Boiler House Community that was such a beautiful expression of Gods people i loved them... but if there was one thing i really struggled with was their inability to identify themselves as a church. They totally were a church... in fact in my mind they acted more like a church then any church i had ever been in... why were they so afraid to identify with that!?!?

I'm sure so much more goes into it then my little mind understands, but how i see it is that they are an emergent church (weather they recognize it or not)... they were about christ centered community, they ate together, they prayed together, they had conversations over theology, they loved each other, they served their community, they challenged themselves to accept everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation... they were an Emergent Church.

While i was in england i had the pleasure of meeting many well spoken individuals... one of my most favorite was a man by the name of Simeon Bayton... how i could push his buttons and how he could push mine. both of us fiercely love Christ and are about making our lives centered on him and bottom line we wanted to be light to this dark world... we both were involved in traditional church and this non identified "emergent church" (i.e. Boiler House)... but if traditional church was on the left of the fence and emergent church on the right... simeon and i were both both standing on the fence... me leaning dangerously to the right and he dangerously to the left... keeping ourselves in balance merely by choosing to link hands and lean...

he fought for the beauty of the bride... the purity she holds, the unity, the accountability, the discipleship, the fold. I fought for life outside a box... the hope of new, unity, accountability, discipleship, the kingdom come... ha ha sounds a lot the same.

so much of what we spoke of was one and the same... so much was different... both of us want change... we just want to see our peers love God. we just want to see people coming to a place that is actually going to help, we just want to see people start having conversations with God...

i left england, but took a lot of that with me... if i want to see change happen in this world there is no doubt that prayer is where it all starts, but one thing i recognized is that it also very much has to do with the church. but how!?!? i've started considering my call to be a church planter... now hold up don't go crazy and think... "wow tina's gone hard core" i think being a church planter is the call of ALL CHRISTIANS!! so if i believe that how do i live that...

in todays modern church you often have to be super trained... even the most relaxed of congregations require their leaders to got to seminary, to spend year in an internship... thats hard to be a full time church planter and a full time microbiologist...

or is it!?!? the thing i love about Emergent Church is their push to just get everyone involved. They break down that hierarchy of power... they spread it out. Sure there are still wise go to leaders, but the much more spread out... i've been reading a text call "the new christian" by tony jones... and as good as it is ... it did also throw my head in a couple of loops...

emergent church is about being christ centered. they are about the bible. they believe that the bible is the truth, but they also recognize some parts are meant to be taken literally and other are not. they challenge themselves to included everyone, no judging or condemning and that also means allowing them to become actively involved in their church (even leadership (!?!)).

flexibility, letting culture help share their church expression, being relevant to society, models of the third way, so much is going on in the emergent church that is different from the 'normal' church i am used to that is putting my head in a spin... the crazy thing is, as i am reading and searching its like the stuff that is on my heart that i just can't quite yet verbalize is being lived out by these people ... and all i can say is "i want in...."

but am i being chaff that is being blown by the wind!??! and i be tossed to and fro by the waves!?!? am i founded. I feel really founded... i feel strong enough to start this journey, but i feel it... somethings going to happen that is going to hurt... but i can't define the pain... just that i'm ready for it...

ahh for the simo and a piece of paper!

all i know is that if the church is going to be relevant for this generation we better stop being about ourselves and start exploring how maybe we didn't have it all right and maybe there is a different way of being the church that is going to shine much brighter for this dark generation...

ooo that just reminded me of something ... but more on churches whose focus is mission if that right later....

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at Saturday, December 12, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 comments

I found your blog through Google Alerts. I love what you are struggling with, and find myself feeling much the same way--especially after reading The New Christians myself. Like you, the book left me feeling that church planting was our work.

I'm also coming to the conclusion that it's all about collaboration and working together. In this way, we can all come together to make the church that we want to see in the world.

Drew

December 15, 2009 at 10:40 PM

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