OK ... here we go.
I am feeling the need to write a bit about the emerging church for a number of reasons. First, because I have used this term to describe the kind of church Vintage Fellowship is going to be. I need to define the term for myself and others who care about Vintage. Second, I have fielded many questions from fellow pastors about the emerging church. My perception and theirs have differed a bit, so I feel like I need to clarify things. Third, I have read some very disconcerting and inaccurate things lately that warrant some response. So ... here we go.
Some have criticized the emerging church as lacking clear definition. While this is partially true, given that this conversation (a term I prefer to "movement') is relatively young, all emerging churches share at least one common denominator. All emerging churches are intentionally seeking to connect the Christian faith to postmodern culture. Whatever theological or methodological differences might exist among emergent churches, this basic purpose remains in tact. Emergent leaders have recognized that American culture has changed in the last twenty years, but in many ways, the church has not. The ongoing relevance of the church cannot depend on mere stylistic changes in ministry. It requires a wholesale reconstructing of the operating system of the church. The church cannot simply upgrade from Windows 95 to XP in an effort to be relevant; the church will need to switch from a Microsoft operating system to a Mac.
Therefore, I would define an emerging church as a church that is intentionally seeking to connect Christian faith to postmodern culture in an effort to help postmodern thinkers become followers of Jesus Christ.
more to come