THE EMERGENT CHURCH

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					THE EMERGENT CHURCH

   Center for Congregations
        October 2007
         Eddie Gibbs
Session 1:
What Is The Emergent
Church?

   Sorting Through The Confusion
    New approaches
   In doing Worship
       Participatory and creative
   In doing Theology
       Radical orthodoxy; eclectic; narrative rather than
        propositional
   In doing Church
       Organic, not mechanistic
   Phyllis Tickle:
       “Represents the convergence of the Liturgical, the
        Evangelical, the Mainline, the Pentecostal and the
        Contemplative.”
                                                             3
    Why now?
   Cultural context of comprehensive,
    discontinuous change
       Complexity and chaos theory
   Crumbling of Christendom
   Marginalizing of the Church
       Compromised and enfeebled
   Impact of the information age on controlling
    hierarchies
   Emergence of de-centered organizations

                                                   4
     Spiders and Starfish

                           Vulnerable Spiders




           Resilient Starfish

Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom, The Starfish and the Spider:
The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations
                                                        5
    Problem of definitions
   EC does not consist of a single, cohesive
    movement
   Diverging/converging streams
       Fluid
   Ground level initiatives
   Different emphases
   Continuously evolving
    Kester Brewin: “A vision for Church that is organic,
     networked, decentralized, bottom-up and always
     evolving.”
                                                           6
  What is a ‘Missional
  Community’?
Consists of followers of
Jesus who are seeking
together to be faithful in
their place and time


   Ringwood, Melbourne

                             7
  Consumer Church
                     Volunteer
     Paid Staff 2%   leaders 18%




The “consumer”
congregation 80%

                               8
Missional Church
                      Volunteer
  Paid Staff 2%       leaders 18%




Mission of the
Congregation in the
World 80%
                                    9
    Identifying the streams
   Post Evangelical/Charismatic
       Discontent and disillusionment
       Alt.worship
   Missional Church
       Lesslie Newbigin, David Bosch
       “Fresh Expressions” in traditional denominations
   New Monasticism
       Intentional communities: Church of the Apostles,
        Seattle; TOM, Sheffield
   Independent Networks
       Neil Cole, Church Multiplication; J.R. Woodard, Kairos
                                                           10
The bottom line
   Recognize that North America
    represents and urgent and complex
    missional challenge
   The missional church does not HAVE a
    mission, it IS a mission




                                      11
         Archbishop Rowan Williams

          QuickTime™ and a
TIF F (Uncompressed) decompressor
   are needed to see this picture.
                                     “It is not the Church of
                                     God that has a mission,
                                     but the God of mission
                                     who has a church.”


                                                                12
Characteristics of the
Missional Church




                         13
Session 2:
Describing The Emergent
Church

   Core Practices and Outcomes
What it is NOT
   Not youth church
       Something young people grow out of
   Not trendy church
       Catering for an artistic elite
   Not house church
       Reactionary and introverted



                                             15
Three Core Practices
1. Identify with the life of Jesus
   From reading Jesus through Paul to
    reading Paul through Jesus
   The reign of Christ has been
    inaugurated
   The Spirit has been outpoured
   The Gospels lead to the Cross; they do
    not begin with the Cross

                                        16
Three Core Practices
2. Transform secular space
   Concern for social justice and
    community rejuvenation
   From invitation to engagement
   Holistic spirituality
       Challenging the sacred/secular divide
   Life-embracing spirituality
   Finding God in popular culture
       Barry Taylor

                                                17
Three Core Practices
3. Live as community
   Re-defining church
       Family and people
       Community gathered and scattered
   From casual and contractual to
    covenantal
   Anticipatory sign of the reign of God
       “Spring is here!”

                                            18
What’s the message?



          Don’t
           GO
           to
         Church




                      19
Get the message?



          BE
          The
         Church




                   20
Six Outcomes
1. Welcome the stranger
   Inclusion with a view to transformation
   The inclusive practices of Jesus
       A place at the table
   Evangelization is a way of life, not an
    event
       Becoming “good news” people
       Invitation to join us on our life of pilgrimage

                                                    21
Six Outcomes
2. Serve with generosity
   Social justice and community
    involvement
   Challenging the consumer culture of
    exchange
   The kingdom of God comes as gift, and
    often as surprise


                                       22
Six Outcomes
3. Participating as producers
   From consumers to contributors
   Providing each person the opportunity
    to share their story
   Encourage interactivity and dialogue
       Including all ages




                                        23
    Six Outcomes
    4. Create as created beings
   Each according to their gifts and passion
   Creativity is participating in God
   Includes all ages
   Consists in bringing what one already has
   Involves lighthearted playfulness
   Provides opportunity to develop one’s
    gifts

                                          24
Six Outcomes
5. Lead as a body

   John Adair: “situational leadership”
   From stifling control to creative
    freedom
   Jean Lipman-Blumen: “connective
    leadership”



                                           25
Mike Breen
   Low Control
   High
    Accountability
       Mutual
        throughout the
        team
   Low
    Maintenance
                         26
Six Outcomes
6. Spirituality: ancient and modern
   Combining ancient and contemporary
    spiritualities
       Church Fathers
       Celtic spirituality
       Medieval mystics
       Liturgical tradition



                                         27
Lectio Divina
St. John of the Cross

          Paraphrase of Luke 11:9

     Seek in READING
     And you will find in MEDITATION
     Knock in PRAYER
     and it will be opened to you
     in CONTEMPLATION

                                    28
       Appeal of Celtic Christianity
   Journeying and the solitary life – pilgrimage
   Image and song – place for artist and poet
   Trinity – unity in relationships
   Presence of God – alongside and all around
   Time – daily pattern; calls to prayer
   Cross – focal point in the countryside
   Saints – native and approachable
   Praise – shared with whole of creation
   Encountering dark forces – spiritual
    confrontation                                   29
Session 3:
Leadership Within The
Emergent Church

     Why Traditional Models
       No Longer Work
     Common Traits
 Character: charisma is no substitute
   Mark of authenticity is the fruit of the Spirit
 Call: Sense of God setting the person apart
   and going before them
   Bill Easum: “Obedient to a call greater than their
       own lives.”
 Charisma: Gifts given prior and subsequent to
    the call
   Context: right person in the right place

                                                         31
      What’s Different?
   Attitudes to authority         A recent survey in
                                   the Wall Street
   Availability of information    Journal revealed
   Commitment to institutions     that four out of ten
   Two income families            employees were less
      Fewer volunteers
                                   than three years in
                                   their job. Ten years
   Work schedules                 ago it was about 3
      Longer hours                percent. 20-25
      Flexible schedules
                                   percent are temp-
                                   orarily out of work.
   Travel time to and from work
   Single parenting
                                                      32
Twilight of Hierarchies

 The shift is now more than obvious:
 from top-down vertical relationships
 towards horizontal, consensual,
 collaborative modes of getting people
 together to make something different
 happen
 Harlan Cleveland, Nobody in Charge (p. 44)



                                              33
 Confronting a Culture of
 Conformity

A PEACOCK
in the land of                                        QuickTime™ and a
                                            TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor
                                               are need ed to see this picture.




PENGUINS
                                                        Qu i ckTi me ™ a nd a
                                              TIFF (Un co mp res se d) de co mp res so r
                                                a re ne ed ed to se e thi s pi ctu re.




Barbara “BJ” Hately and Warren H. Schmidt

                                                                                           34
  Decision-Making and
  Sense-Making
Warren Bennis, The Future of Leadership
 “If I make a decision it is a possession, I
 take pride in it, I tend to defend it and not
 listen to those who question it. If I make
 sense, then this is more dynamic and I listen
 and I can change it. A decision is something
 you polish. Sense-making is a direction for
 the next period.”

                                                 35
    The Future of Leadership
 Warren Bennis, The Future of Leadership
  We need new leaders…
  not just younger leaders,
  but leaders with new
  competencies; listen to
  the under thirties and
  over seventies.”
 Bill Easum, Leadership,On The Other Side

…many of today’s most significant leaders are
  under 30 and we have never heard of them.
                                                36
   Leadership Images

                        Conducting the Orchestra




 Leading the Jazz Band


Max De Pree, Leadership Jazz
                                             37
       Leaders Who Make “Music”
Max De Pree, Leadership Jazz, pp. 8, 9

  “Jazz-band leaders must choose the music, find the right
  musicians, and perform–in public. But the effect of the
  performance depends on so many things–the
  environment, the volunteers playing in the band, the need
  for everybody to perform as individuals and as a group,
  the absolute dependence of the leader on the members of
  the band, the need of the leader for the followers to play
  well.”



                                                          38
    Flexibility is the name of the
    game
   Cannot form long-range plans for an
    unpredictable future
   Develop contextually appropriate planning
    models:
       Alternative scenarios–”What if?”
       Our mental models are crucial to the learning
        process
       Just-in-time planning with prompt implementation
   Understand “management” in terms of coping
    mechanisms than control systems
   Knowledge doesn’t necessarily come from
    experience
                                                           39
    Characteristics of Effective
    Leaders
   Aware of God’s call
   Clear vision – analytical, strategic,
    focused
   Demonstrate confidence and courage
   Able to influence, motivate, and mobilize


                                            40
    Characteristics of Effective
    Leaders

   Ambitious for others
   Consistent in follow-up
   Take risks – learning as they go
   Carry out damage control



                                       41
Session 4:
Structuring The Church for
Mission

      Turning Congregations
           into Clusters
 Characteristics of emergent
 systems
Kester Brewin
1. Open–change from within triggered by
   the environment
2. Adaptable–radical reliance on our local
   communities to survive
3. Learning–sensing what is going on
   around it and processing this information
   intelligently to make changes

                                         43
Characteristics of emergent
systems
4.   Distributed knowledge–not top
     down, centralized knowledge and
     power
5.   Servant leadership–complexity
     theory provides us with a model of
     leadership that has very little power



                                             44
 Problems with inherited
 congregations
1. Clericalism: chaplain to service the faithful
2. Controlled not releasing environment
3. Recipient participants rather than initiating
   participants
4. Building centered rather than concerned with
   building community
5. Sunday/Event centered: lost gathering power


                                               45
Four levels of human social
groupings (Joseph Myers)
  1. Intimate Space
       – prayer partners
  2. Personal Space
       – cell groups
  3. Social Space
       – Sunday service
  4. Public Space
          celebrations

                              46
    Impact of the Christendom
    concept of “congregation”
   Church formed by Christendom, congregation is
    all about a special religious event (service) in a
    special building on one day of the week
   Enshrines clericalism
   Prevents the liberation of the whole people of
    God on community-based belonging
   1 Cor 11-14 only makes sense and come to life
    with gatherings from 15-60 that do extended
    family community

                                                   47
    Rediscovering biblical
    congregation
   Bob Hopkins
    “To understand clusters we shall need to
    recognize that one of the principal weaknesses
    of the western church is that we have lost
    Biblical and sociological “congregation.” What
    we now call congregation, we believe is
    something different. This is particularly serious
    because we define church as congregation and
    it’s the word congregation that carries all our
    assumptions about church.”

                                                  48
  Essence of Clusters
1. Typically composed of 2-6 cell groups
2.Sometimes clusters emerge from cell
  groups and sometimes cells emerge from
  clusters
3.Total of 15-65 people
4.Ideal size: 25-55 adults
5.Can be fully inter-generational
  communities

                                           49
 Essence of Clusters, ctd.
6. Defines a grouping within a specific
  sociological, ecclesiological and
  missional identity
7.Not just a strategy to re-structure large
  churches
8.Vision and faith in the founding leaders
  are key – so call it what they have
  caught sight of

                                              50
 Essence of Clusters, ctd.
9. Defined by mission: sets them apart, hold them
   together, gives them identity and motivates
   them
10. Small enough to share a common vision and
   large enough to do something about it
11. Release a leadership explosion by lowering
   the bar and releasing the motivation



                                              51
Essence of Clusters, ctd.
12. Leaders grow in key gifts and skills
  based on high accountability and low
  control
13. Give a key to evangelism and
  multiplication
14. Create a networked church


                                           52
  Three Dimensions of Clusters
1. Upward – embraces the liturgical or the entirely
  spontaneous (Holy)
2. Inward – formal or informal meals; lots of
  caring, prayer for one another, practical and
  financial help (One)
3. Outward – vary as widely as neighborhood and
  networks; listen to their chosen context to
  identify the needs, aspirations, and social
  patterns (Apostolic)
     any cluster can take action on wider social and
      environmental issues
                                                        53
Holistic Faith Community
           UP




 IN                  OUT
                           54
 Mike Breen’s Summary
1. A place of identity, belonging and
  ownership
2. A point of gathering
3. A context for training
4. Generate embryos for further church
  plants


                                         55
Congregational Clusters
Part of wider expressions of church




                           OF

                                      56
  Glue that holds cluster
  members together
1. Purpose – mission focus
2. Values – community qualities
3. Agreed Language – name and story
4. Vision moves into Purpose and Values building
   Community
5. Strong identity produces healthy clusters
6. Sifting process around purpose and values is
   not only okay, it’s healthy
7. Develop a shared language

                                              57
    Glue between Clusters
   Leadership Huddles: cluster Leader Support
    Groups (Carl George)
   Celebration: Gathering networked churches
    (made up of 4-10 Clusters)
   Matrix: Resourcing from the center: worship,
    training, children, youth, finance,
    communication (Boxes of resource material that
    clusters may need during the week)


                                               58

				
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