Monday, February 11, 2008

And it begins...

Well, the first Emerging Desert gathering went off without a hitch yesterday! (Although we missed you Jamie, Stephanie, et al.:)

We had a strong turnout of folks from wide-ranging backgrounds, and we spent our time together going around and offering our individual stories of faith & church. Our hope is that these transparent introductions provide a context for our talks going forward. We look forward to meeting more folks as they are able to join us and contribute to the conversation & action.

Some highlights from yesterday's gathering:

  • We took a few moments to acknowledge some of the commonly-held criticisms of the emerging movement:
  1. That the conversations can often be destructively critical of the institutional church.
  2. That the conversations are just that: talk (lacking literal action).
Our hope is that by acknowledging these tendencies up-front, we will be intentional in working against them moving forward.
  • Building on the above observation, after everybody had offered their stories yesterday, it was interesting to note the similar connections that everyone of us had/has to a mainline church. I thought this was important to recognize the role that our pasts play into where we currently are spiritually, and that this acknowledgment will guide our time together with humility & patience.

Awesome. So we're off and runnin'. We look forward to seeing everybody again at the next gathering (March date to be announced soon). If you haven't already, pick-up (or borrow) the Shane Claiborne book. We'll be talking through the first four chapters at our time together next month. And, if you have some thoughts you'd like to share between now and then, let's get you setup as an author on this blog!



Anonymous said...

Just wondering if I might join you on this journey. I obviously can't do it in person, as I live in North West Arkansas, kind of the OC of the midsouth...
I happen to be reading Clairborne's book, as well as the new one by Tony Jones...
I like the spirit of your conversation I've read so far.
It definitely hits a nerve with me, this idea of shallow worship. It's just one of the symptoms of the mile wide-inch deep mega church. Seems to be all about what this Messiah can do for me...I've thought it to be sort of "fast food" christianity...."Give my 'take-away', bless me and let me drive on.."

Yard said...

We absolutely(!) welcome your part of the discussion. We'll be talking about chapters 1-4 at our next gathering, (look for another post soon) but feel free to jump in prior to that. We're hoping that our online discussion is at least as vibrant as our in-person meetings. If you have anything that jumps out at you, and you want us to make you an author, let us know.

As far as the worship goes, I agree with you. Of course I was not trying to say that all churches need to rethink their worship. I am just finding that the typical church service is a kind of anti-worship for me. A place where I cannot focus; rather I'm distracted by those around me, the music itself, the leader, the hype. Real worship for me is more likely to occur in my truck on the way to work. Sometimes with music, sometimes without.

Thanks for your input!

Laurie said...

I was wondering if I might start a discussion based on a statement that came out of Willow Creek recently, concerning the direction of the "megachurch"...?

Arizona Bam said...

Hey Laurie! (are you the same as "Anonymous" above?)

Thanks for your interest in getting a new discussion going. Shoot me an email, and perhaps we can get you set up as an author here...