What would you say are some of the “common answers” that these independent emerging thinkers are arriving at to the categories you list?
1. How we should do church,
2. How we should relate to each other and to the world,
3. What it means to follow Jesus, and
4. How God interacts with us to change our lives.
So here we go with some initial thoughts, just broad categories for now:
1. The organization of Church isn’t supposed to be something that saps our energy; it’s supposed to be relational, a community and not just a membership list. The modern church is set up to be attractional, but it isn’t even attractive.
2. “There goes what’s-his-name” is a bad way to have relationship with people you pass on the street, or in the church. If we had time for people, maybe we’d know not only their names, but that of their spouse, kids, and dog. Maybe we’d know their fears, hopes, and dreams too. Maybe they’d know ours.
3. Following Jesus has to do with behaving like him, caring more about those around that were “outside the church” than those on the inside who were offended at the company he kept. It’s more than believing what he taught, it’s doing what he did.
4. God doesn’t rely on the 10 minute altar call as his chance to break in and change our lives… changing our lives also has to do with spiritual disciplines, where we participate in the gradual daily things God is doing in our lives to make us more like him. We are changed as we engage with God.
Really, I think sometimes it’s easier to ask questions than answer them… but a good question can be just as insightful as the answer and sometimes moreso. I’ve written more on this whole thing in this post, which is actually probably the most-read on on this blog… it tends to resonate with people, and in some ways it too provides a look at what EC is about. I in no way really expect to answer this question, but perhaps I can contribute….