Faithmaps Blog (Stephen Shields): On the Value of the Term “Emerging Church”
Andrew Jones asks:
I ask this every year. This year, MOST people in my world say that the label “emerging church” or “emergent church” does not define or describe the kinds of ministries they are doing. That also means that many books on the subject do not speak for these people and most of the criticism misses its target. Not only that, but using the term is problematic for some Seminaries and ministries. What do you think? Is the term helpful to you or a hindrance?
In comments, I noted:
thanks for asking the question. I go back and forth. the emergent thread of the emerging church seems to have most of the emerging famous and so it draws most of the attention and most of the criticism. …I definitely consider myself emerging but haven’t resonated as much with the emergent side of the conversation, though I have friends there. And I have gotten publicly criticized by those who consider me emergent and don’t seem to be saavy to the distinction. In fact, it seems to me that most outside of the conversation aren’t saavy as to the distinction. Because of this, I’m wondering if we non-emergent emergers should just call ourselves missional and be done with it. ...