I was scanning Andrew Jones’ blog (tallskinnykiwi.com) and found this entry in which he goes to lengths to interact with DA Carson’s critique of the Emerging Church.
One thing he says in this is “We are missional before we are emergent.”
At church, we have been getting a lot of calls from Seminary students and bible college students asking to come and learn about “the emerging church” from what we are doing. We welcome the visitors, but I am often quite careful to not want to be labeled an “emerging church.”
The hard thing is, because of the nature of the “organization” of Emergent is that it is very relational and very organic. So, everyone wants to know “What exactly is emergent?” That is not an easy question to answer and often more trouble than it is worth in my mind. Also, is the term “emerging church” going to be around forever, probably not (as Andrew even admits in that blog entry).
The issue for me, is that we are a missional church. Again, an issue is raised. What makes a “missional church” missional? I scan a lot of blogs and church websites, many people call themselves missional. But are they? Who knows? Are we? I hope so, but we’re learning.
Darrell Guder’s writes in Missional Church,
We believe that we are the church, that is, we are a community of God?s people called and set apart for witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. We are blessed to be a blessing. As the Father has sent Christ, so Christ sends us. Jesus Christ has defined us as his witnesses where we are. We believe therefore that the Holy Spirit not only calls us but also enables and gifts us for that mission. Our task is to determine the particular focus and direction of our mission. We are to identify the charisms given by the Spirit for mission. We have the responsibility and the capacity, through the Holy Spirit, to shape ourselves for faithful witness. Our purpose defines our organizational structures – which means that our mission challenges us to re-form our structures so that we can be faithful in our witness.
The big issue i am dealing with in our community is, that all the strucutres of our community would have a missional goal…
if that makes us emergent, well wonderful.
(oh yeah, one of the main reasons we get the label “emerging church” is because we have a distinct worship service – this is such a narrow understanding of emergent it makes me sick. i don’t really care what your “worship service” looks like…a worship service with candles and prayer stations only makes you, well, a worship service with candles and prayer stations.
oh that community of God’s people would be viewed as much more than two hours on sunday mornings.