Friday, September 07, 2007

The immerging church

In this post-denominational, post-Christendom, post-everything era, I think that there may well be a convergence between post-liberal mainliners and post-conservative evangelicals where folks continue to seek out that which was missing from their own traditions in other streams of Christianity. We see this in some of the ancient-future liturgical retrieval (as has motivated many in my own Anglican congregation), and it is also a marker of many in the emerging/Emergent church. I think it's fascinating that while evangelicalism continues to attract disaffected former Catholics and mainline Protestants, according to Diana Butler Bass in Christianity for the Rest of Us, there's also a parallel (though smaller) mainline renewal that has a lot of energy and growth coming from disaffected former evangelicals and fundamentalists.

At any rate, whatever camp folks are coming out of or into, all Christians would do well to be "immerging," as this WhirledView blog post puts it:
Fifty-plus years in the future, perhaps people won't care so much whether the early 21st Century church was emerging, or out of what, or into what. They probably will take note of what this generation grasped and failed to grasp.

What I care about more is the immerging church -- whether or not the church of our day is incarnational. More personally, it matters whether or not I am incarnational, as I seek to follow Jesus and serve his kingdom.

Essentially this is the model and charge of Christ, to set aside any sense of merit or entitlement, to humble ourselves, to go into all the world (not persuade the world to come into ours) with good news that we've tasted, not just read about or memorized or grown up knowing about.

. . . If the church is emerging, let us continually emergeas necessary from our safe spaces and enter into the world God created, in which God wants us to be light and indispensable flavor. And let us do so in a way that includes God's whole church, the one with Christ (not the West) at the center.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

God is the Alpha and the Omega! The one and only KING we shall serve for the rest of our days! If its not in the bible its not right!!!