This AM (pre-coffee I might add) a colleague from San Francisco Presbytery (a geographical grouping of Presbyterian churches, not unlike a gaggle of geese or a drove of donkeys.) contacted me posing that ongoing question, "What is this EMERGENT CHURCH thing?"
Now I know that others have put much more thought into answering this question (some maybe too much), but thought I would attempt to offer quick pithy response . . . and of course bowing to emergent etiquette, the note was followed up with an offer to meet over coffee.
Ahhhhh . . . . The “What is Emergent?” question. The whole emergent thing is difficult to put into one clear definition precisely because those who need a clear definition are probably not “Emergent.” Actually, there is not much that is all that unique about it other than for many people some of the conversations that are being had are offering moments of “exhaling” because there is something that is compelling and meaningful.
With that said, as one who comes out of the mainline church and is very comfortable with the ambiguity of the Emergent movement, there are some characteristics that I would lift up.
- To be able to find joy in authentically expressing ones faith truly informed by one’s context;
- To be able to appreciate (Not just tolerate or accept.) that others may indeed be expressing one’s faith informed by one’s context;
- To be able to understand that ministry is more about approach (Way of BEing) than methodology (Way of DOing);
- To be able to live in a world/life/faith of chaos and ambiguity and not feel compelled to find one definitive TRUTH, but to allow one’s self to revel in the many truths that one experiences along the way;
- To be able to claim Christ as center of community and from there on out, intentionally engage in discourse and relationships, not division and polemics;
Here are a couple more posts/blogs that I have found helpful…
- Brian LePort on trying to define Emergent
- Leadership Journal on the Emergent as the "New Left"
- Tony Jones on the Emergent "Doctrine"
- Emergent Women Blog
- Emergent Village
- DJ Chuang’s Asian American Emergent Skypecasts
Peace out as the kewl kidz like 2 say 😉