Saturday, February 23, 2008

Getting Bored with the Emerging Church?

There has been an increasing amount of chatter on the blogs about the imminent decline of the emerging church conversation/movement. Of those that make this observation are two types, the bored trend-chasers and those hungry for action.

The trend-chasers are ready for the next new thing, always in search of the magic formula or a get-church-big-quick scheme. As much as we would love to see it, the model presented by Jesus was not one of instant success. There were times that he began to accumulate a popular following, but we never see him passing out the campaign buttons or accruing majority support. Instead he wanted the committed, faithful guys that were going to help implement his plan for global transformation.

There are other trend-chasers that just love to wrangle with the sexiest new ideas. They were the ones that loved deliberating over the “hot topics” that Evangelicals have debated for a long, long time. They got bored with some of those topics and have moved on to the new set of “hot topics”. But the edgy sensation is wearing off. These are the bohemian followers of Jesus in search of the perpetual cafĂ© table with funky people, ideas, and espressos. These conversations are important and they help prevent us from domesticating theology as suburban myopia. But when they remain conversations only, it ceases to be the good news that has the potential to enliven peoples lives. The New Testament everywhere expects believers to externalize the inner transformation.

Then there are those that are frustrated by the conversation held in perpetuity. These are the ones that hear a good idea and are ready to walk out the door and do it. The emerging has sometimes been guilty of talking about some great stuff to the point of goosebumps and warm fuzzies, but there is no plan of action. When Jesus sent his disciples out (Mt 10; Lk 9; 10) it was time to imitate Jesus proclamation of the nearness of the kingdom in word and deed.

I love the exchange of ideas, the creative blogs, and the blog comment repartee. But it seems that with the frequency with which many of blogging and commenting, that there is little time for action. Let us be more diligent in proclaiming the good news in word and deed.