Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blind Spots in the Emerging Church?

In a seminary class on reconciliation, another student gave an excellent presentation pertaining to the Millennials - the generation coming up quickly behind Gen X. In the midst of his very compelling report he commented as an aside that the emerging church isn't cutting it with this generation. He said the emerging church is mainly for Gen Xers and Boomers, and they don't seem to be having many conversations about the younger people just behind them who are distinct from them in many significant ways, and who are largely being missed by the church.

I've been pondering that observation and wondering just how true it is. I can certainly think of a few exceptions. But I think he might have a very good point. It appears that the EC is having some conversations about what to do with their children, now that they are growing and having families and finding existing, traditional models of discipleship with children to be inadequate. But what about the gap between the parents and the young children? Where are the Millennials in the emerging church? I'd love to hear from people on this subject.

As we prepare for planting what we hope will be a multi-class church, I've been keeping my eyes open for emerging churches who are involved in doing ministry with the poor as multi-class congregations. There is no doubt that the EC generally has a strong social conscience - caring about creation, AIDS, and global poverty. But how many have reached beyond the limits of charity to be churches of and with the poor? Again, I can think of a couple of exceptions. But for the most part, the EC generally appears to be a movement of middle class folks who do more charity than justice - at least on the local level.

I know there are some fabulous exceptions in the EC world to both of these observations. But what do you think? Do we have some blind spots in these areas?

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