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Emerging Church in the NY Times

18 February, 2004 10:43 PM

Hip New Churches Pray to a Different Drummer is an interesting article in the New York Times about Emerging Churches.

Here is an excerpt - 'Called "emerging" or "postmodern" churches, they are diverse in theology and method, linked loosely by Internet sites, Web logs, conferences and a growing stack of hip-looking paperbacks. Some religious historians believe the churches represent the next wave of evangelical worship, after the boom in megachurches in the 1980's and 1990's.

The label "emerging church" refers to the emergence of a generation with little or no formal attachment to church. The congregations vary in denomination, but most are from the evangelical side of Protestantism and some are sponsored by traditional churches. Brian McLaren, 48, pastor at Cedar Ridge Community Church in Spencerville, Md., and one of the architects of the fledgling movement, compared the churches to foreign missions, using the local language and culture, only directed at the vast unchurched population of young America.

The ministries are diverse in their practices. At Ecclesia in Houston and Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., artists in the congregation paint during services, in part to bring mystical or nonrational elements to worship, said Chris Seay, 32, pastor of the four-year-old Ecclesia, which draws 400 to 500 people on most Sundays.'

Update - There is an interesting discussion going on over at Metafilter on this article...

One thread has caught my attention....someone said:

'I'm not so sure I want my church to be hip. It would make me suspicious or something.'

Someone else responded with:

'I want MY church to be real.'

Very interesting stuff. Something inside of me started to ring warning bells when I read the article yesterday - I too worry when the 'hip' type language gets associated with churches. For me 'emerging church' is not about 'hip' or 'cool' - its not about turning down lights and changing the music to attract unchurched people - its about rediscovering the call of Jesus to Love God, love our neighbor and love each another as followers.

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