Some are now predicting the death of the emerging church – here is a recent report. Well, I am sure some have been predicting this from its inception, those who are quite against the emerging church.
I’ve never really written much on the emerging church. I’ve just finished Brian McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy and am about to start his new book, A New Kind of Christianity. So I’ll be sharing some thoughts on those books soon.
What I have written about before is America’s (and the west’s) obsession with movements. Movements are not bad, for they come to challenge what needs to change and confirm what needs to stay. Yes, movements can be bad. I do not doubt such. But, as a whole, we can learn from movements.
But I have always been concerned with movements and fads within the church: from charismania (though I could be identified as a ‘charismatic’), to revivalism, to seeker-sensitive, to emerging-post modern, to capitalism invading the church, to you name it. And these are only from the past 50 years. We simply know how to get excited about the next best thing in the church, or what we think is the next best thing. We have our own versions of iPhones and iPads to pump us up.
In today’s world, movements last for a shorter time. I think it’s a product of the global world we live in. It used to take weeks, months and years for certain news to travel. Now it’s available within seconds via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a hole host of other methods. I’m ok with it. It’s just that movements will fade in and fade out a lot quicker these days.
So the emerging church movement might fade out. Maybe not. Some are only recently becoming enamoured with it. Sometimes we take a while to ‘get’ things, even though they have been around a while. I’m not say the emerging church was the best thing since sliced bread. But, with all its faults, it has served a purpose over the past two decades. Again, as any movement serves the purpose of challenging what needs to change and confirming what needs to stay.
So, it’s ok if such a movement is in its fade-out stage (as others have posted). And then something new will arise. It might look and seem better than the emerging church, or the opposite.
But in all, this is why we are not called to seek first a particular movement and all these things will be added unto us. We are called to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (right-living) and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). For the kingdom is unshakable and we are, even now, a part of the rule of God’s kingdom (Hebrews 12:28).