Sunday, January 29, 2006

Emerging Spirit

Partly as a response to our Annual Meeting today I went looking at some stuff on the UCCan web site. The UCCan has launched an initiative called Emerging Spirit to help reach people in the age range of 30-45.

There is some interesting ideas and information on the web link above. But I am wondering how much it will help. Unless we in the church get better at describing why we go all the bells and whistles in the world won't be enough. Unless the church can do more to invite people to come they won't be there to see what is new. Unless the church is ready to let go of older ways of doing and being then new ways will never have room to catch hold.

It remains to see how effective Emerging Spirit will be. Will it take root and grow or will it be consigned to the pile of "good ideas that went nowhere"? But there is wisdom in trying to find out what will make the church relevant in people's lives. As one person said this morning during a discussion about vision and change "the wrong people are having this discussion. We need to hear from the people who aren't here about what might need to be changed."

4 comments:

  1. I haven't looked that closely at Emerging Spirit yet, but it's all the buzz in Toronto at the General Council Office. I'm still speechless about the cost of the program -- 8 million.

    Call me naive, but does it really cost 8 mill to make a relevant church?

    But then, I'm still getting over the shock of seeing the bling bling General Council office space. WTF? Riding up in the elevator to the two floors where Church House now resides, there was a little tv in the elevator showing stock quotes. What's wrong with this picture?

    But what would I know, living out here in the boonies as I do? (she said, ever so sarcastically....)

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  2. I lost faith long ago in the church culture changing significantly, and it is the culture of the church that people encounter and live within, if they stay at all. In my experience, the theology of any church is secondary to its culture in terms of people's experience of it.

    Alas, the Emerging Spirit initiative will likely go nowhere, because congregationally, the church will cling to the same old, same old, cultural milieu which has become a point of comfort and habit for most of those who stay.

    The wrong people are in the discussion, the wrong language and conceptual framework are being used (eg: "entertainment" vs "worship"), and then there is our architecture...

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