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Differences between Traditional/Seeker/Emerging Church

20 October, 2003 9:08 AM

I received an email from a college student in the US over the weekend asking for information on Emerging Church's approach to Care.

Due to personal circumstances this week I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get around to answering it so I thought I'd open it up for discussion in the hope that others might be able to offer her some wisdom. Here is what she wrote...

'In my Pastoral Thelogy class I am studing the differences between the traditional, seeker sensitive, and the emerging church. I was hoping that some of my research would come from people who are involved in these churches and who have a understanding of them. If you could give me any information on the views and ways that the emerging church does things it would be greatly appreciated.

The topic is care.
Assumptions/Starting point
Water Baptism
Baby dedications
Healing ministries
Counseling Funerals
Ministry to the poor/ compassionate ministries
Church discipline
Biblical Example of how the emerging church would do care

Feel free to contribute to the conversation below.



Here's an oversimplification!

Traditional - asks no questions of itself and seeks to maintain the status quo at all costs. Tradition and scripture get mixed up.

Seeker - has asked questions - just came up with the wrong answers... Ok that's a bit cynical - the seeker church ironically believes that the seekers should 'seek' a church to attend rather than actually going and 'seeking' them... so ... yes my first response to this was actually accurate...

Emerging - has asked questions of everything and has come up with a whole heap of different answers. The desire to question seems to be the unifying factor - aside from that it gets pretty diverse.

hamo » 20 October, 2003 10:10 AM

the seeker church ironically believes that the seekers should 'seek' a church to attend rather than actually going and 'seeking' them

This is an incredible false generalization!

I'd venture to say that the small groups (or "cell groups") so prevalent in the successful seeker churches actually resemble in a lot of ways the mini-communities of the emerging church.

Before you start answering the diverse questions in the EC, it might be best not to operate from false presuppositions and "baby-with-the-bathwater" thinking.

Jared » 20 October, 2003 10:52 AM

i am 18 months into helping lead a transition from a very "insider" focused church to a church that is making it a priority to create intentional environments where the unchurched person can connect with what is happening and find relevance. I would not classify us as a strictly "seeker" church - however, we are very sensitive to the fact that everyone who is a part of our church community is at a different place in their spiritual journey. We respect that and give people "room" to search and find answers.

Our goal and hope is that we are all moving forward in that journey together.

So with all of that said, I guess we are definitely reaching seekers - but then again, I often times consider myself a "seeker".

On the flipside, we are also seeing that many "seekers" desire to be a part of community right next to the "believers" - they want to see the real thing, not some "lipstick" version of Sunday morning church or Christiainty in general.

We don't have it all figured out, and probably never will, but it's fun trying and in the process see a lot of lives changed.

scott » 20 October, 2003 2:29 PM

So exactly what do you do with the cross of Christ and His BLOOD?

Rita » 12 February, 2004 12:01 PM

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