Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What is the Emergent Church?

Church leaders and members alike are trying to find ways to allow the church to adapt and change as our culture is adapting and changing. For the traditionally minded, many are convinced that we shouldn't do anything new- all we are called to do is to recite the familiar messages that have been recited for centuries. To do otherwise is to compromise the Gospel and allow the culture to redefine the expression of our faith.

To the critics of tradition, there are those who say that culture has changed so dramatically in the last 50 years, that to not update our message will result in our churches dying off and become irrelevant to future generations. These critics point to statistics that explain that 80% of churches have plateaued in number and are now losing membership. Other critics show that with over 3,000 churches closing annually, something needs to be done to make the church seem and be more relevant than it is at the present time.

Those critics actually have a name. Within both evangelical and liberal circles, that name is Emergent. The emergent church is a canopy that includes those leaders and churches who are trying to reimagine what church can mean to a world that no longer finds itself identified as Christian as it has been identified in the past. Because the canopy of emergent is so wide and includes so many people and ideologies, here is a video of an interview with Mark Driscoll, an emergent pastor that actually has some reservations about the emergent process. In this video, he explains the different streams within the Emergent Church, what they are doing, and how to recognize them.

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