Last weekend, I attended the TransFORM Missional Community Formation Network‘s East Cost Gathering. It was an “Emergent” gathering of people from all over the work, actually. There were some great workshops with leaders doing really good work with all kinds of people, but primarily those on the margins of Christianity and the Church.
A whole lot of stuff went through my mind as they blogged and tweeted and tactilely related. I simply wanted to observe, so I didn’t want to do any of that (although I did meet a couple great people on tactile level). There is still a lot I have to process, but one thing I realized is that I am really not within the American-Evangelical construct of the Church universal any longer. Even though “Emergent,” whether the conversation or the movement, isn’t really of the politicized Evangelical church, the people still care a lot from their upbringings. I am not there, any longer.
The median age was probably 35 – a definite GenX group. So, what is happening among the Gen Y‘ers (29 and younger, as of 2010)????? That is the question!
Here is my concern – people are still jumping on the “movement” bandwagon without understanding the “conversation” that makes it all possible, and without understanding what gives life to the phenomenon. The Episcopal House of Bishops last meeting had as a big part of its agenda the “Emergent Church,” including speakers like Brian McLaren, who I really respect. Yet, just like many “emergent churches” have copied Charismatic worship forms (overhead projections, praise bands, praise choruses, etc.) or now have “liturgies,” but do not understand the sources behind those worship forms, or how Anglican/Episcopal churches have taken on Anglo-Catholic worship forms and yet without living into source behind the form – all fall flat if just aping the form – I fear that some kind of thing will happen with Anglican/Episcopal churches as they attempt to copy “Emergent Church” forms without understanding the source or power that gave launch to the whole thing – the willingness to be in true Conversation with the emerging culture and generations.