Thursday, November 17, 2005
The other day I noticed someone reading a book by Donald Miller. I think it was “Blue like Jazz.” I’ve never actually read the book, but I’ve heard he’s got some ideas along the lines as emergent. I still don’t really know what emergent is, but I went to a seminar on it not too long ago and liked a lot of what Brian McLaren had to say. The way I think lines up rather nicely with emergent thought. Reading another blog, or something like it, I saw a definition of emergent as “those who desired to do church in such a way as to minister to postmoderns.” I’m certainly all about that. I myself am a postmodern, having only accepted the faith when I was nineteen. I think like a postmodern and have never felt very comfortable in or enjoyed church.
Anyway, I asked this person what the book was about, and I don’t really recall what he said. I asked him if it had anything to do with emergent. To this he made some comments about emergent just being another fad, mostly for publishers to make money off of. I said, whatever it is or isn’t, it certainly raises the point that we live in a postmodern society and need to find new ways of reaching these generations. He made a good point in saying that the church ought always to be studying culture and finding new ways to minister effectively within it. I agree. The problem is, they aren’t.
So, i still don’t really know what emergent is, but I have a strong desire to enter into postmodern ministry, leaving the church behind in some ways, while creating it anew in others. The hard part is knowing what this looks like. It’s easy enough to say that we always need to study culture and adapt, but it’s another thing to actually do it. I don’t want to latch on to another trend, but there is a real issue and concern here, and not too many who are currently in the church even have the ability to think in such a way as to be able to begin to reach out to postmoderns. Black and White thinking is the only way they process, and conformity to their preconceived notions and particular denominational distinctions is the only way one can truly enter into and receive the full blessing of the church. As much as they would like to think differently, they can’t. They just don’t know how.
Well, I finally got the balls enough to leave the church plant. This certainly wasn’t an easy decision. The biggest thing that held me back is that I didn’t want to hurt the morale of the church. I want them to keep going, and to succeed. If this is their dream, I want them to make it a reality. It just wasn’t my dream.
Who knows where the path leads which we walk down. When we think we are going in a particular direction, suddenly there is a sharp turn in the path, and all the scenery changes. Now everything has changed, and I do not know where I am or where I am going. Yet I feel strangely at ease. I have stopped struggling, setting aside my ambition for a moment, that I might seek the will of God. How everything I have set my hand to has crumbled under its pressure.
It is a strange feeling. I have no obligations. My life is no longer so busy that I cannot keep up. I’m actually enjoying it.
During this time I will consider what it is that God is calling me to. It is strange that I do not even have a church. I am so free to head down any road I please. It will please me to head down the road which he desires for me. So long as I can overcome this self-doubt. He certainly believes in me more than I believe in myself.