Matt Rupert (at From the Morning) is asking What is Church? as prompted by my post Dear Julia. He writes,
I wonder what it looks like to have a church with no laity. I’m not saying it’s any more Biblical (it might be), but I do think it would be more beneficial to the spiritual growth and relational capacity of all involved.
May I pose a question: When it comes right down to it, what is “church?” I’m taking the question up a notch, I suppose. It’s often been asked whether church can be done in a house around the table or around a campfire. I’m asking if church can simply happen. I’m asking, “What is this thing we call church?”
And while we’re on the subject, I noticed today that Wikipedia has a Church 2.0 entry. It’s a brief article that could still use some fleshing out. Of course, most of us who have used the phrase don’t have it fully figured out, but this is certainly a good start. The article was started by a fellow called Joseph who I don’t know, but he’s compiled some links and a good jump on this definition. Who knows, maybe the Church 2.0 definition will be polished and ready for primetime before the cleanup notice come off of the Wikipedia Emerging Church definition.
The 411 on Church 2.0 is that it’s “a missional ecclesiastic response to a culture influenced by the values of Web 2.0.” The definition comes from Andrew TSK Jones, because he normally gets to define these things, mainly by hitting it quickly and striking pretty darn close to the mark.
Ben Sternke has been doing an interesting series of blog posts on ideas related to church 2.0.
Hello, my name is Kyle. I found your blog through Gerry’s and I thought I’d leave you a little note to say thanks. Your blog is causing me to think and ask some real questions, and I’m loving it!
Thanks for the link!
I find myself wrestling with this question more and more, as I sense a call to ministry and I’m not real sure how that’s going to play out.
Sometimes I think the attempt to define ‘church’ is a bit futile. The greek simply means ‘out-called’ – make of that whatever you wish [a bit like God saying ‘I am what I am’]. Seems to me ‘church’ is simply the fusion of mission and context. Stick the 2 together and SOMETHING happens, and even if the mission remains constant [does it?] the context is always changing so the SOMETHING, the new compound, is always different. Because we are human and therefore silly, we start to argue about whose compound is better – whether you should wear vestments or have professional priests or burn incense etc. But really it’s just SOMETHING that happens when mission and context mate.
I didn’t think of it til later, but this question came together for me in two pieces. The first was an attempt to think of the church not separated spaces, but the church in public places. The article I wrote was titled, “Toward a Theology of Public Presence.”
The second piece was thinking about spirituality not in terms of individual and inward experience, but expressed in life and in the marketplace. The article became “Toward a Missional Spirituality.” Both of these are available on my website for those who need bedside reading to help them sleep ;)
Thanks for the link! Unfortunately, a couple Wikipedia elitists managed to take down my definition last week :( Without a good discussion arguing for the existence of the term, the wisdom of crowds decided the death of a Church 2.0 Wikipedia stub.
If you’re interested in starting a new one with me, I’d be more than happy to contribute. I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you to properly introduce myself, and I’ll probably ping you again when mychurch launches in early August.
I bet if your readers can really get behind the Wikipedia definition, I’m sure it will have a better chance at survival a 2nd time around. I think my mistake in starting the stub by myself was failing to garner support for it before submitting it. Besides contacting TSK, no one else knew I was trying to start a wikipedia discussion. And I’m certainly not qualified to be the one to lead the effort…