Thursday, October 18, 2007

Am I Emerging? (prologue)

In recent months, I have been asked some form of the question, "are you one of those 'emerging church' guys?" I usually have to pause a long time before giving any solid answer. This question has caused me a great deal of thought, because the question instantly creates more questions in my mind:
  • What is the definition(s) of "emerging" in American Christian culture? It's a buzzword that's being used more and more, so it makes sense to define the term before allowing it to define me or my beliefs.
  • What does it practically mean to be "an emerging church person" in our world? What are some of the values and practices that could define someone as emerging?
  • How does my being "emerging" (or not) affect my relationships? With those in the church? In the community around me? In the global community? For me personally, with my junior high students in suburban Arizona?
  • What are some dangers in being labeled as an "emerging church person?" What are some of the consequences (positive and negative) for these kind of labels? What are some of the possible motives for asking this question?
  • What happens next? How does life change once I answer that question?
This topic has been coming up in my conversations with church leadership, youth staff, students, and online connections. So it seems like something worth thinking through. I'll try to walk through my own journey in a blogging story addressing some of the above questions over the next week or so. So beginning next week, we'll see where this takes me!


  1. Wow, Joel. I'm excited to see where you take this. :)

  2. You are such a Missionally Relevant Emerging Church Coach! I also am pretty interested in the Emerging Church, both the negative and positve aspects of it on the Church. I will send you that I love Mormons Book as well as your CDs. Sorry. I will mail it to you. If you want to read any good books on the emerging church, i got a bunch. I will send those to you also if you would like!

    I miss you, Brother.