There’s an updated Wikipedia definition for the emerging church now, thanks to the conversations and efforts of a number of folk who undertook to fix the off-base definition that evolved from the original. Although perhaps some tweaks remain to be done, the definition now offers a good history and overview of the emerging church. HT to TSK, who also highlights an excellent quote in the definition from Chris Seay: “It should be clear we are championing the gospel and missional values, not what (some) describe as ‘ministry intentionally influenced by postmodern theory.’”
Meanwhile, John O’Keefe wonders if we’re ready to be a movement. (HT: Ooze) The Wikipedia definition grapples with this as well, but as I’ve said a couple of times before, the emerging church probably is a movement, but because it’s a postmodern movement, it doesn’t fit the classical pattern of a modern movement hence some of the confusion.
Elsewhere, as has been blogged about for a week or so, the emerging church is getting more mainstream press on PBS, which looks interesting as far as I’ve read so far. Kim Lawton interviews Scot McKnight, Don Carson, Doug Pagitt, Diana Butler Bass, and others. Check your local listings for Part 2’s airing times.
The aforementioned post by Andrew Jones (TSK) also provides this:
As for the concept of “post-emerging” (Ginkworld [i.e., John O’Keefe again]), it may be helpful to think of emerging church in 3 stages:
1. Submerging – those going deep into culture to listen, think, pray, and share the gospel among the emerging culture.
2. Emerging – When the new church structures begin to rise up and take shape organically inside the culture, a process that will often be described as having “emergent characteristics” and displaying “emergent behavior”.
3. Converging – When the new church structures begin to connect to the other existing structures, local and global, and form part of the web that is the body of Christ.
Of course, if you present these options to churches, they will normally choose the one that is most advanced and complete, no matter where they are in this process. But it might help those who have been going 15 years and are now part of the church fabric, despite growing up with emerging culture people.
So after all this, I figure we can toss in a new term… the “emerging church progression.” Is it a conversation? A movement? We don’t know, we’re just happy to be progressing.