Sounds like Desert Pastor Chris Monroe had a great lunch with George Barna: “turkey, provolone, and lettuce on a croissant, with a dill pickle spear and some fruit.” Thankfully, his account of the lunch focuses more on the conversation they had. Sounds pretty interesting:
By way of background, I mentioned to him that I had participated at the first three Emergent Conventions in San Diego. I was hoping to establish a little bit of common ground, but Barna quickly interjected that the entire Emergent movement in the U.S. was simply a ‘reaction’ — stemming primarily from conservative fundamentalist groups. And although some proponents such as McLaren were getting a lot of press, the emergent movement (when compared with the “revolutionaries” he had been studying) was rather insignificant.
So take that. Good reminder if you ask me that this whole emergent thing is hardly the last word on ecclesiology. Or even the word after that.
From Chris’ conversation notes, he describes quite well a problem that a lot of local churches have with YWAM:
Many of our young adults had been going off to attend DTS’s (i.e. Discipleship Training Schools) conducted by YWAM (Youth With A Mission), followed by at least one short-term mission. These were spiritually intense experiences (to say the least), and when these young adults returned to their home congregations, they often found it frustrating and difficult to blend back in. The lack of spiritual passion and concern for the lost repulsed many of them. Unlike today, there were not very many alternative expressions of church for them to hook up with back then (the 80’s). Rather than encourage their passion and vision for ministry, we tended just to tell them to get on board with what WE were doing. The result: they either left the Church or re-entered YWAM permanently.
I’ve seen this from the local church end, where they they want to affirm YWAM but they’re almost a little annoyed with them because of the state in which they turn people loose after their DTS is complete. Hmm, could it be that all along, this parachurch mission organization has unwittingly been sowing emerging values that clash with the local church?
It’s probably signicant for those experiencing it, but overall it’s not that big of a deal. I too attended the conferences in SD and quickly found myself in the midst of evangelcal kids who grew up going to church in high school gyms. The fundamnetalist theology no longer holds water and the kids are looking for something deeper. They are starting to discover scholarship outsied of rick warren and max lucado. Brian McLaren is fairly basic. “NEW” for evangelicals but nothing major for those outside the core evangelcalism. I know folks are discovering much for the first time. Just like sex, it’s exciting but has been around since the beginning of humankind. He’s just been reading and regurgitating basic mainline theology. Folks are discovering NT Wright, but he’s only the cusp of scholarship. Barna’s right in my opinion.