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Distinguishing Accents

2 October, 2003 9:07 AM

One of the highlights of our recent trip OS was just listening to the huge array of accents and languages that people spoke. There were common words between some languages, but also huge variety. Even within small regions the accents could vary incredibly.

This week as I've surfed around different blogs and sites of people grapple with issues of Emerging Church I've begun to wonder if perhaps we are speaking different languages (or at the very least with different accents) when it comes to what we are doing.

I've seen people write about the commonalities between what is happening in Europe, the US, Canada, Africa, Downunder etc - but I've never seen anyone try to describe the differences.

I think it would be important for us to identify these for a number of reasons.

1. So we can celebrate our diversity. I don't believe we are called to be clones of one another. I'm a big believer that church should rise up and be relevant to particular contexts. I'm all for us creating indigenous worshipping communities and therefore believe that there should be a vast variety of different expressions of Church across the globe. Our differences are not something to hide and push under the carpet, but they should be celebrated.

2. So we can learn from and challenge one another. Having said that we should be diverse, there is also room for examination of our differences in order to spur each other on. I suspect that each region of EC has a lot to offer and teach other regions out of their own personal experience and context. This is not done in order to clone, but to encourage, inspire, teach and bring some accountability.

Having said all this it can be a little daunting to point out differences - they can often be framed as critiques - I've found this post quite hard to word out of this fear - however if done so in love I think it might be a worthwhile venture. In doing so lets allow each other the grace to make some 'sweeping generalizations' and keep in mind that even within our 'regions' there will be an incredible amount of diversity also.

So what are the accents, flavors and unique things that you're observing about EC in different parts of the world? What can we learn and celebrate?

As I rush out the door this morning a couple of basic observations spring to mind.

Firstly I think there is a lot that we have and will continue to learn from those in the UK when it comes to Emerging forms of Worship.

Secondly, one of the emerging strains I've noticed out of a lot of Aussie and NZ EC's is a strong missional and justice focus.

Got to run, interested in your thoughts.



Something well worth you developing a bit more - an esay for PHUTURE or something.............

Paul » 2 October, 2003 1:04 PM

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