From Emergent to Emergence
I am on the Mission Shaped Ministry away weekend, and yesterday we did a session on Starting a Fresh Expression. One of the things that keeps coming up on this course and that I need to take notice of is the theme of listening and of waiting.
I have recently finished The Complex Christ by Kester Brewin. If I have read and remembered it right he suggests a helpful distinction between the Emergent and emergence. The emergent tends to be a style of church, rooted in the post modern, alt worship, questioning etc. It is very much where I feel I fit in. Where as emergence describes the church reacting to the community and culture it is rooted in and forming and responding according to that.
I tend to want to go off and start or be involved in something emergent and, I suppose, try to find people who respond to that, or declare that it will be the answer and people will come. Rather then spending time listening, getting to know people and finding out what the needs are and how we can fill that need. To find an expression that emerges and really connects with the people. The two are not necessarily excusive and Kester points out in his book that the emergent expressions of church often do show at least some signs of emergence. But being relevant to the culture and community you are in is obviously key.