Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Reflections on things emerging & cultural change

Now that I completed the whirlwind tour of a number of US cities, I intend to post some reflections about particular things of interest that came to light. Much arose from discussions about the following:

1) spirituality arising out of our pomo consumerist culture and information technology (techgnosis)
2) forms of christian community to reflect changes in culture
3) evaluation of mission forms of church.

Intentionality v Conservativeness
To start I want unpack what some see as the success of the mega church and that of the more conservative evangelical. Michael Barlowe in San Francisco got me thinking, when he came up with some US research that questioned the hypothesis that it is about being conservative that has led the conservative evangelicals to grow. The research he raised - pointed to evidence of intentionality and the depth of the spiritual community was the key factor - rather than the evangelicalness or catholicness of the church or project.

This has struck a chord in me. That in a culture that seeks spiritual authenticity and integrity - it is logical that the more intentional and relational a community, the more successful that community will be in terms of how it does worship, mission and community as well as numbers. The truth is that the evangelical side of the church is generally more intentional - and the more catholic more impersonal and distant. This research would then back up the importance of the emerging church to foster highly intentional communities which seek not to be controlling - but more permission giving yet relational. It will be interesting in a few times to see if it is this intentionality that increases effectiveness - we will just have to wait and see.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

nice to hear your reflections. look forward to more.