If you’re just tuning in after hearing the emerging church panel at Prov Emerging Church Conference with Gary Collins, welcome. Yes, you’re in the right place… if you’re wondering who the heck Brother Maynard is, I forgot to mention at the seminar that I blog pseudonominously. I do this for a particular reason that I’ve mentioned previously in response to the question of why. The whole anonymous thing has kind of taken on a life of its own, so I may just stick with it indefinitely…. we’ll see.
So, back to the conference…. thanks again to those who responded online and via email following my earlier question about what you’d want to say to this group. And for the benefit of those who weren’t present, the pastors and leaders conference featured Gary Collins providing some introductory material on the emerging church plus a panel discussion, which responded to questions from the floor from an ec-perspective. The panel included (mouse over the links for more info on each):
- Yours truly
- Jamie Howison
- Jamie Arpin-Ricci
- Gerry Michalski
- Bill Millar
- Lissa Wray Beal
- Kara Mandryk
- Phil Keniesel
Unfortunately Paul Vieira came up ill at the last minute this morning and couldn’t make it. The panel was a good mix, actually… all of us assembled rather last-minute and many having rearranged schedules to be there on short notice. There was no remuneration for us, but everyone was happy to participate just to be able to help provide some greater awareness of the emerging church for others as well as to extend “the conversation” and hopefully welcome some new participants.
A few of the panel members I had not met until today… I only found out who Kara was after we were seated beside one another on the platform. I met Lissa just beforehand, though in some of the conversation after the first panel session it sounds like we’re perhaps reading the same book at the moment. I also learned that Bill Millar has an “inner clown” …whatever that is, and he also has a very disarming manner when he speaks, which was a good way for him to overcome the fact he’s a United Church minister. A few quipped about not being sure why they were there, but everyone pretty much held their own and made great contributions to the general discussion. Lots of nodding on the panel, I think, whichever of us was speaking. I think I was generally happy with my own part as well as what I heard… nobody really came over as an expert with all the answers, I think we all portrayed ourselves as the mere apprentices that we are.
I mentioned some books, so thought I’d provide some links. Once I start listing books I can just keep going, but these are the ones I mentioned in the seminar.
- Postmodern Children’s Ministry: Ministry to Children in the 21st Century Church
- Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications — contains some helpful analysis and observations for the emerging church, but is a poor representation of Brian McLaren’s theology and perspective… refer to primary sources, such as
- McLaren Boxed Set (A New Kind of Christian; The Story We Find Ourselves In; The Last Word and the Word After That) and
- A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, …Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN
- Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality — A number of people are reading this and issuing a relieved sigh.
- Stories of Emergence: Moving from Absolute to Authentic — stories of several different emerging churches.
- The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church — new forms of orgainizing church, missional and incarnational instead of attractional model. This one should prove helpful to the Canadian situation, as emerging churches in Canada seem to be tending after the Australian format more closely than the American one.
In addition to the links (above) to the blogs that some of the panel members keep, I also mentioned the Beginners’ Guide at EmergingChurch.info, which includes an article by me. In that vein, the “Notable Posts” section of my sidebar includes some additional resources that should be very helpful. Also highly recommended is Rob McAlpine’s article, “Detoxing from Church” which should help provide insight into what many disillusioned believers are processing. If you’ve come here following the conference, welcome to the online conversation… please post a comment here or on any of the blogs you’ll be able to reach from these sites, and you’ll normally get a good response or two. If you’ve got a question, ask away.
On that note, I thought I’d post two questions that were handed to me between sessions. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to respond to these, but I did want to (really, I did!)… I thought for now I’d post the questions here. Any bloggers, particularly those who were on the panel today, please feel free to respond to them on your own blogs, and provide a link in the comments here.
- Is it working? i.e., are people coming into the Kingdom of Christ through emergent-driven ministry? Or are your “communities” filled with disenfranchised christians?
- Most of the panel have broken out of traditional settings to launch their own ministry expression. Therefore, can a traditional church be transformed into emergence? Or do the emergents need to leave?
You see what I mean? These are two great questions, deep ones which could lead to some great discussion… I’m putting them forward now to see if anyone wishes to reply, and will also try to respond here myself in a day or two.