Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blah Blah Blah.............

Went along to Blah Manchester last night where the speaker was Jonny Baker. Great night was had, high quality snacks and a decent red wine! That however was not the main purpose of the evening, the theme was Probes: Getting Under the Skin of the Emerging Church. The link takes you to Jonny's site where the idea is discussed in greater detail.

It was a good night that provided lots of thoughtful discussion and challenging issues, that the church is all to often reluctant to talk about. I do worry however that in the current arena of emerging church and in the discussion around new expressions of being church we are just going to create a new one size fits all. The ideas we had last night were bold, exciting, the conversations led down all kinds of interesting avenues, however (and you new there was one coming) it was all a bit middle class and intellectual.

Sadly this seems to be the case with all working examples of new and emerging churches(that I have seen). I have seen other examples of what some would claim to be emerging church but they just look the same as other or "normal" church i have seen before. Perhaps another debate we should be having is what does define emerging, is it important what label we apply anyway if it is working (how do we define working, I'm digging a hole).

The models of intellectual church I have seen so far are great for those living the "city life" (although a friend of mine said he was not sure what was so new it was the same as normal but without hymns)but I am not sure it would engage with those living in the estates of South Manchester where I have been working. Many of these both young and old are just as disengaged with church as those who are currently trying the new expressions emerging from the cafe bars of the city centre.

Despite having seemed to critique all that is being done I do want to support it fully. The emerging church movement is managing to make or has arisen out of a need for the church to look long and hard at the way it is in a new and apparently constantly changing culture. For me personally this has to be encouraged and we all need to start looking at how "we are church" wherever we are. So I pray for guidance and that the spirit will lead us all into new and exciting ways of sharing and living the Gospel.

Before I go just a funny observation (at least I think so) Jonny last night told us how he thought preaching was regarded by the church as something to be held onto when really we should be having small conversations and discussions and if someone was to speak it should be for about 10 mins. He then went on to preach sorry I mean speak for 45 minutes!

Liz he said to say hello to you and hoped you were ok he said he had expected to see you. I explained you had changed your sex and started calling yourself Ashley!


At 11:28 pm, Blogger Sally said...

All this theological discussion and anglican angst...anyone would think you were training to be a vicar!

At 2:10 pm, Blogger 1 i z said...

I was gutted to have to miss it (blame Sarah's meeting schedule).

Glad it was thought-provoking - I'll be grilling you more on it next time I see you.

A good discussion to have over a curry maybe...



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