Home > Emerging Church > The Emerging Church Doesn’t Exist

The Emerging Church Doesn’t Exist

So I had planned on writing a blog post on the non-existence of the Emerging Church, but BJ beat me to it. But to sum up, there is no "emerging church" singular as church has traditionally been defined. There's no official list of emerging churches, no common statement of faith, etc.

What there is what I call the "emerging ethos" which at the same time exists and but doesn't really exist. It's comprised of people, meetings, blogs, relationships, emails, faith communities, and conversations. It's something that is ridiculously hard to quantify, because it avoids being quantified. If one wants to quantify anything, the organization Emergent might be the easiest, but even that organization acts largely as a catalyst for the "ethos" of people, etc. While I think there are some commonly held threads that make up the "emerging ethos", namely it’s a group of people who desire to critically engage the culture around them in a missional sense. However, there are people in the "emerging ethos" who would disagree with that statement that I just made, and truthfully, that's part of what makes it so interesting.

To give a more concrete example, take a look at pomomusings. I came across Adam's blog because he was dating a girl I went to college with, and kept following it because without question is interesting (I've exchanged a few emails with him but never spoken with him in person). Now, if you spend much time on Adam's blog you'll figure out that he and I disagree on some pretty significant issues, but yet we both have that e-shaped banner "Friend of Emergent" on our blogs. Now, I have no idea if Adam would consider me apart of the "Emergent ethos" but despite our substantial disagreements on certain important issues, I consider him apart of the "emergent community" (for what that's worth).

I guess part of what I've found refreshing about the "emergent ethos" is that I've never been asked to leave my particularities at the door in exchange for seeking some "one-size-fits-all" solution but rather encouraged to bring my particularities to the table and discuss them honestly. Unlike the General Assemblies that I've attended where it was "right" and "left", the emergent ethos is more of an "us" than anything else, because people are so different and are invited to bring those differences with them into discussions.

Categories: Emerging Church
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