Category Archives: Ecclesiology

The Heart of the Emerging Church – Part 1

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Quite a while ago Grace from the Emerging Grace blog posted a group of posters in response to some less than grateful posters created by some people who vehemently oppose the emerging church movement. I downloaded the set and I now use them as my screen saver at home and at work. An expanded set of posters can be found at Grace’s current blog Kingdom Grace. ( I stumbled upon this expanded set  just now as I was writing this post)

I was sitting in my office over lunch just taking a few moments to meditate on a passage of scripture. I look up from the page and watched as this set of posters flashed across my computer screen. I was struck by the beauty of these images and the values that they embodied. I believe that these images give us a glimpse in to the heart of the emerging church.

Over the course of few posts I would like to use some of these images to take a look at what I see as the heart of the emerging church of  which I now consider my self a part of.

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Non-conformity and the willingness to challenge traditional expressions of church were two of the first things to draw me to the emerging church conversation. I have never been one to do something just because “everyone else was doing it”, and I have never believed in doing things a certain way just because “thats the way we have always done it.” Thats just not in my nature. I have always thought that Why was an important question to ask.

I believe that it from these two aspects of the emerging church which all the others flow. With out the willingness to break from the herd and forge a new way forward, or the willingness to question the traditional expressions of church there could be no positive change. The church would be stuck in the past as our world changes rapidly around us.

We see these two values modeled by Jesus during his incarnation. All through out the gospels he went against the conventional religious teaching of the day. Jesus never did things the way that the religious leaders of the day thought that he should. In fact it was his unwillingness to conform, and his constant challenging of the religious establishment that got him killed.

I take a lot of flack sometimes for my perspective on many things. Just today I was drawn into a conversation I didn’t want to have and was called a “Greek loving apostate who was going to hell.” just because I don’t believe that the King James is the only true Bible. At times it can be discouraging to say the least but then I remember that Jesus once told his disciples that “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” I find comfort in that statement, because if you look at who was persecuted Jesus while he was on earth it was the religious establishment of his day.

So to all you fellow questioners and non-conformists Don’t give up!  I believe we are on the right track

Thoughts on Being a Missional Church

Moving the church outside the walls doesn’t necessarily make it missional. If the purpose of our activities is ultimately to bring more people into our church, That is not missional.

Being a missional church is about moving outside the walls, not to grow our church, but to extend God’s love to those around us.

A missional church can’t be concerned about getting a return on their investment

A missional church must me a church where people see them selves as participants in the mission of God, not just passive recipients of his Grace.

As the body of Christ we are God’s physical representation here on earth. Being missional is about being a redemptive force in our community. Its about God’s will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

A missional church is more concerned about how it can enable and encourage its members to serve the community more than it is concerned about offering “services” to its members.

A missional church must be less concerned with making converts than it is with making disciples.
The old way of doing church was attractional. (How can we bring them in?) A missional church is incarnational. (How can we embody Christ in the community?)
Being missional must come from Love. For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son.

A truly missional church must be a loving church. People are smart if they sense that we are doing the things we are doing with the motive of getting them to come to our church they will know, and it will turn them off.

Being a missional church is about loving people like this.