Once again I begin a project that will require me to regularly fit another thing into my schedule, not that I run to one otherwise it would not be an issue, however I will endevour to express thoughts that I find interesting and do so with integrity. I may well be reduced to merely linking to other sites but that is how it goes sometimes.
I have been reading some articles on the 'emerging church' and on evangelism whoops, no, I mean reaching the unchurched, (why the hell would we want to church someone?) and being a member of a church community, a missional church community, a new testament missional emerging church community reaching for the lost, the not so lost, the poor, the not so poor and the sometimes not so churched I have to say that it can be crap.
Because this community began from nothing it couldn't go backwards really, so any bump on the radar is a great achievement, however we begin this notion of Church on the backfoot. We have committed ourselves to not running events and programs that we can invite people to, we don't have musicians, well, we do, but we can't be stuffed playing music for church because we feel that it usually gets in the way, the one thing that we are committed to is meeting around the table for communion and trying to understand how to 'preach the gospel' in our lives.
We are a community of young people some are just recently married, others are moving house, the most senior member of the team is the do it all save the world pastoral care guru from and v.p. of a theological college, so most of the time is helping faith communities talk to each other. We usually meet in a lounge room and have a reading and then try to understand the impact for each of us as individuals and a community, we take communion and tell the stories that have impacted us during the week.
I have been told that we do not really 'worship the Lord' because we don't have music, 'its more a Bible study than a real Church' and I love this one, 'this is a cutting edge church'. To be honest we a group of people trying to understand faith in the context of our homes, workplaces and the greater world we live in. We are not trying to be an amazing new cutting edge venture. Sometimes I would love to fall back into being a charasmatic movement with singing and preaching from the platform and rosters and structure, but that would be far removed from our call and expression as a group of people.
We have had about 45 people connect with this community in one way or another, there are about 5 regulars and we began with 12, but as life takes over and young adults move and change it becomes difficult to be together regularly.
I would like to raise an idea that I heard years ago, a seasonal community. There are seasons for all people, all ages, why are we always so passionate about connecting, converting and then keeping within our community? I think we discredit the Church when we think we are the only expression that can exist and is right for this person or family.
There is pain in a seasonal communnity though, with every passing season there is death. A community that understands that there is a time to die and a time to be born will find death less damaging and will hurt less people as it releases (such a cliched pastoral word) its people to find meaning for their new season.
Still I think the emerging church will fall over all the time, but the Church, the Gospel will continue to exist in ways that Christians must search for and validate.