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Characteristics of the Emerging Church

22 March, 2004 12:31 PM

What do you see as characteristics that are common between Emerging Churches around the globe?

I've been spending this morning preparing some material to speak this coming Saturday at our denomination's national board. As I said previously, they want a presentation on 'emerging church/missional communities'. I'm enjoying the preparation process.

Describing the Emerging Church is something that I find to be a slippery topic. I've previously reacted against putting a definition upon it and ended up attempted to do so in a very loose manner. I think its probably more helpful to describe some of the common characteristics that we see emerging in such churches. I guess that is what I was doing in my 'Church Planting Lessons Series earlier in the year. Whilst I described what we at Livingroom were learning I realize I was also describing what others around the globe seem to be learning also.

I'm really keen to see what others see as the characteristics of the Emerging Church and would appreciate your thoughts? As per usual I'd love to learn from the experiences of others and hope that what is shared can be beneficial to us all. So have a go - what are the characteristics of the Emerging Church? If you can think of examples to illustrate your points please include them with links if appropriate. Also if you'd rather write a post on this on your own blog, just leave a comment below with the link and I'll add them to this main post.



Hi, have you read The Heavenly Man? I'm reading it at the moment. Brother Yun is involved with house churches around China, reminds me of emerging churches - as a way to worship with freedom, to let God work freely without man made restrictions. Thats what I think anyway,

Tanya » 23 March, 2004 8:31 AM

1. Christians become Jesus people first and foremost--loyalty to Jesus, connected to the whole Body of Christ. Church = a Spirit-led people-movement. The structure of the gatherings and the goings of Jesus people = secondary.
2. Participatory. Jesus is expressed when the whole Body is involved in expressing Him. The point of gathering is Jesus in the midst.
3. Leadership-as-we-know-it needs to get out of the way. As church again becomes a Jesus-people-movement, then we can understand how leadership is meant to support the movement, not control it.
4. Relational. One-anothering is at the core of transformational communities and of transformation itself.
5. Missional = spontaneous expansion = no boundaries.

roger » 23 March, 2004 4:04 PM

Darren, I trust you've read "The Shaping Of Things To Come" by Frost & Hirsh, although it doesnt describe the emerging church pe se, it does dwell on the missional, incarnational post- Christendom church.

dave the rave » 23 March, 2004 6:43 PM

heaps and heaps of the discussion on tallskinny and alan creech's blogs over the last few months on this ...

steve » 24 March, 2004 1:14 PM

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