Excerpted from a post by Alan Hartung:
Established church pastors, denominational heads, other “leaders” need a conversation about what’s going on. They need to dialogue with many from different perspectives and in so doing find what God is doing in the varied parts of the body of Christ.
The Church, as a whole, however, needs a movement. There are too many people who can give a rip about the weighty philosophy thrown around, they just know the established church is broken, and they fear there is no place for their faith. They need a movement of people doing something rather than engaging in a conversation. The Church needs a movement.
The distinction Alan makes is a good one the average churchgoer isn’t looking for quite the same thing here as the average church leader.
this is very insightful .. makes me think again what are my expectations and others too
This was always my problem with Mclaren describing Emergent as a conversation rather than a movement. Conversations are about sitting around. As fun as they can be, you never actually go anywhere.
On a more visceral level, I was reminded after visiting some friends with a brand-new baby that ‘movement’ has a very specific meaning to the parents of a constipated kid. By that definition, I suppose we could still say that plenty of us are in need of one, eh?
Sometimes it simply doesn’t matter what you call yourself, sometimes it’s what others call you that sticks. Sometimes this is because you’re being misunderstood, bu other times it’s because your perspective doesn’t allow you to label it properly. Once enough definitions call EC a movement, then that’s what it is… maybe we’ll clutch to calling it a “grassroots movement,” who knows. I like “conversation” because it’s a low-key word… whereas movements don’t always seem to know where they’re going anyway. Well, movements of that kind, anyway! ;^)