a new coat?

i have been thinking a great deal lately about how many churches are on the "we are emerging wagon." it seems that each and every day we recieve about 25 to 30 requests from churches who say "we are emerging" and yet there is little, if anything, emerging about them. recently i came across this writen by a disciple of christ pastor in sacramento, "...many churches are looking for a formula to place over their existing processes to make them suddenly attractive to new people and see “emergent” as something that would fill the bill. [click]"

man, does shout with reality. too many churches are claiming to be emerging/evolving but are not - too many are claiming to be this because they believe it is "the latest and greatest" program being offered. they place the idea of being "emerging" along side their 40 days of purpose, their "passion, the movie" teachings and so much more - they see it as a way to "market" to those outside the church, hoping it will "draw them in." they see other communities of faith use the same stuff - thinking cool graphics, cute slogans, hip pastors, spiked worship leaders and the like will actually change the reality that they are still force feeding the same stuff as always, its just now they are using different plates.


Craig said...

I found that as soon as I thought that I understood the emergent vs old school debate that I didn't understand it again. It helped me understand culture to a point and then failed to be an all embracing philosophy in the same way as watching the Simpsons regularily. While the dialogue seems to get at some good points, it's also suspiciously elusive and difficult to frame. I find it easier to feel like I can define "Zen" than "Postmodern"... and Zen teachings have done more to lead me to Christ than Postmodern have. I suspect that the only reason that there is this rift between the old and the emergent is the western cultural need to be contentious.
Both sides of the dialogue seem to have fallen victom the ubiquitus spiral dynamics of the marketing machine.
On a brighter note, I've recently began recieving a tv station for aboriginal native canadians and they seem to have a more helpful, moral and community outlook than any church.... Important and rarely seen values such as telling the truth even when it's difficult and having reconciliation within a community.
How can people possibly truly live as followers of christ within our current cultural climate? It's brutal... Unless I'm misunderstanding emergent (which is possible), we really need more.

iggy said...

I agree... there is something deeper than the "throw a new slip cover of the old couch" and call it new mentality...

This is a living thing not a "bandwagon". I know I still miss the boat in many things... and agree with Craig as the minute I think I got it, I lost it... LOL!

I think that is because it is not an it... it is a me... it is as you, it is as a we... it is not a structure in the sense the world looks at structure... which I think much of our "churches" have based their view on... "imitation of the world"...

More I view it as falling into the "behold I make a new thing"... not that the "church" is new in the sense we are recreating, rather we are rediscovering what God has already done... and going forward in that. the Church needs to recognize we are beautiful because Jesus said so... and not think we need to make ourselves more attractive to the world... but show how much we love our Beloved...

Being relevent is more than being cool... or being a fashion driven church.


Craig said...

Sorry if the last email was a bit negative. I was actually coming down with a flu and didn't know it yet, so I may have had a fever.
The question about the postmodern/emergent shift in culture that I would really like to know is what are the real contributing factors to this way of thinking?
Do you think that it could be largly connected with changes in the way that public school classes are taught and the media that we consume or are there other factors that have influenced the populations thinking?