RIP Emerging Church

“We have failed to address our own souls and our own sense of self. We have pointed the finger – analysed and critiqued church patterns, missional models and Christian culture, but have remained naive to the way in which we ourselves as individuals have co-opted by contemporary culture. For we carry within us viruses. Parasitical organisms which are capable of ruining all of our plans, of wounding, weakening and even destroying our movements, churches, communities, ministries”


How many of those who seek reform within the church, do so from the frings, occaisionally throwing stones, occaisionally asking the church to support them financially, all the while…what we really need are those who commit themselves to the Body of Christ…fight for Her, protect Her….restore Her….seek for Her best and Her growth….
It may only take one of those within a local church to stick around and commit themselves..and earn the respect of those within it…to see Her rise up and take hold of what God lays before us. The fields are white for harvest…..

5 thoughts on “RIP Emerging Church”

  1. I’m wondering if this is true of Martin Luther? I think he wanted to see reform from within Catholic structures .. it didn’t work out so he left. I can site a few others as well who tried to change the structure from within and yet were mercilessly character assassinated and physically threatened. People do not like their power and structures threatened.

    As much as I would love to agree with you on this one Mark I can’t – yet I do agree on this, how can you ask for finances and be a stone thrower at the same time? – this is wrong.

  2. My reading of some of the EMC is that it’s core is honestly grappling with missional questions – I have a lot of time for the Hamo’s of this world even if I don’t agree with all his conclusions (although I have plagiarised some of them!) – but that it has attracted a lot of disgruntled Christians who have hijacked the agenda. (Happy to stand corrected on this).

    Yes, the EMC has its blind spots, but we all do.

    What fascinates me in Sayer’s wider thought is the way Gen-Y issues have moved beyond the EMC so that it is really a Gen-X fascination. I think Gen-X (me!) was always doomed to be marginalised and squeezed between the Boomers and Millennials.

    Time to move on, I think. Really, we just need to fulfil the calling we sense upon our lives. Biologically, diversity is a good thing. Spiritually also.

  3. please dont misunderstand…the title was meant to be provocative. I hope I am not being overtly critical!
    I am merely following on from Sayers…who would I think agree with what you are saying Alex.

    Mark R…by all means move on from church bodies which are unredeemable…as some might say the Luther did. But even Luther tried to reform from within first.

  4. “all the while…what we really need are those who commit themselves to the Body of Christ…fight for Her, protect Her….restore Her….seek for Her best and Her growth….”

    And maybe some do this by calling her to be more than what she is? Sadly when you do this you get exiled to the fringes by a large group of people.

    Trust me – people don’t want to hear because it calls into question everything they are about. I doubt any of us want to live on the fringes, but its virtually a truism that it is the from the fringes that the prophetic voices come.

    I think part of the reason we can say RIP is because much of the church now says ‘duh’ to the message that was being advocated. However I am not so sure it would have been heard had it not had some bite to it.

    I am constantly in 2 minds about this issue. I would rather things were said gently and we all stayed friends and felt like we liked each other. Then again sometimes we need to say things in a way that gets heard and that is not always compatible with being agreeable.

    I was something of a johnny come lately to this scene and much of the overt critique had been done. However I was drawn to it because the critique resonated so deeply in my spirit – that the church had lost its missionary identity and was operating with a ‘come to us’ mindset that really belonged in the 50’s.

    Certainly the church I was leading fitted this category very well and I had to own my complicity in that.

    Maybe one of these days I will lead a ‘church’ in the more traditional sense again, but I would do so as a very different person and as one who has been shaped by my experiences on the fringes.

    Along the way we have had people from the centre support us, believe in us and stand with us when we have got it right and when we have got it wrong. (Today I was writing to 3 churches to say thanks for you financial support for the last few years.)

    And my guess is that their own security as people enabled them to do that and not be threatened by those who asked questions.

    One of the issues I sense some don’t ‘get’ is that you can’t truly understand what we have learnt cognitively. To genuinely re-imagine church there is a need to actually act and behave in significantly different ways.

    So I would say, we need those voices and we need them desperately otherwise the church will lose its way.

    Reform and renewal never came from the centre!

  5. “Reform and renewal never came from the centre”….dont agree with that. I think that is exactly where it is coming from.

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