I hesitated to repost it here- although this thing called ’emerging church’ continues to be a vital one for me- and the theme of many previous posts. The hesitation was because the blogosphere has been over populated with emerging church obituaries. Some of them have been provocative, others gleefull. Most have been premature, and driven by a particular agenda.
Some too have been a natural consequence of the cooling of pioneer activism, and the breaking apart of fragile allegiances between some of the early adopters in the USA. These relationships were always likely to be tested, given the characteristics of prophetic pioneers.
But having said all that, Emergent Village- and it is always worth remembering that they are not, and have never claimed to be the voice of ’emerging church’- provides an important, if USA centric, perspective on the conversation.
I liked some of what Brink had to say- firstly on community-
If 2010 marked anything, it was the growing awareness that following in the footsteps of Jesus and gathering together in community is hard. People were tired of talking about it and just wanted to do it. Bradley pins the death of the emerging church to this awareness. Rob Bell, arguably one of the more important but undeclared voices in the emerging church recognized that he had become that big Mega-church. What was once cool had now become mainstream. And in losing its luster, the real work of ministry began to emerge.
And finally- on love-
The emerging church isn’t dead. It’s just finally wrestled with the angel and won. It’s shedding it old image, the one that got people so riled up in the first place. The conversations won’t ever go away because in the end, we’re looking for what it means to be human. We’re looking to discover the reality that Jesus was trying to present, one of infinite grace and beauty, stark reality of the kingdom of God in our midst, and a renewed sense of possibility for the restoration of the world.
Here’s to 2011 and a renewed sense of faith, hope and love. Because the greatest of these is love.
When it is all said and done, the labels are meaningless, unless they become a conduit for the Spirit.
For me, this conversation has been just that.
But man can not live on conversation alone- there are also the dishes to be done and the dirty business of learning to live out lives of love…