Sunday, July 31, 2005

Established and Emerging Tension Points

Tall Skinny Kiwi posted this on the tension points between the established and the emerging church. While it seems like a reasonable analysis to me, I can't help but think much of the path to resolving these issues is clearer communication. So much tension and threat results from lack of communication and a sense of us and them which doesn't need to be the case. I wonder what the forum for this communication might be?

Responses to comments

A wise friend Ross sought to change my questions a bit which I've found helpful. He asked ...

What would you want an 'established' church to offer? Even more generically what would you want from any other group of christians? I think what you could get from another group is a function of what you want to do.

I think I'm looking for some real sense of partnership between established and emerging churches. So I'm not looking for anything particularly, but more trying to search out what each could offer the other.

Ross also asked What is there about a church which qualifies it to be called 'established'? Is it inherited patterns which are deeply ingrained? Is it physical resources? Is it a certain size? Is it to be defined by what it lacks - missional dna for example?

My use of this term is in reference to churches that have an established approach to doing/being/running church. I see established churches as places that operate using existing or more traditional approaches while emerging churches are seeking to develop new approaches as a result of changes in the culture/s they are seeking to reach. As I noted elsewhere, the most helpful term I have come across is mission-shaped church. I've been using this term in my thinking for our plant next year.

Mark Berry asked where I was from ... I'm in Melbourne, Australia.

Digger asked if I went to the Forge Conference ... but unfortunately I had a bunch of personal commitments that weekend that stopped me from getting to any of it. A damn shame as I'm sure I would have learnt heaps.

All work and no blogging makes Tim a quiet boy

Haven't posted in ages as I've been flat out working on both my job at the established church I'm in and some plans for planting a mission-shaped church next year. I have holidays from my normal job now and I'm taking a semester off uni to prepare for next year, so hopefully there will be lots more posting to come.