Is Mosaic a part of the Emerging Church?

Is Mosaic part of the Emerging Church?

I rarely pay any attention to rants against “into the Mystic…” The editorial early last spring by Brannon Howse was no exception. But, in light of the recent Calvary Chapel statement distancing themselves from the “emerging church”, I thought I would finally make a little comment about Brannon’s piece. I admit, Brannon’s piece made me chuckle and some of the comments made by some of Brannon’s posse have made me laugh out loud. In a weird sort of way, It was fun.

Brannon’s piece received an honorable mention here at “into the mystic” back then when it was written. You can read my full and complete response to Brannon’s piece at the bottom of my post dated March 9, 2006 and titled
ORIGINS – the MOSAIC leadership experience

However, rather than dismiss Brannon’s piece en toto, I felt I could use it as an instructive guide for us all. Brannon’s editorial was originally called “A Worldview Weekend Special Report: Bethel Seminary and University, The McManus Brothers, Mysticism and the Emerging Church.” To his credit, Brannon changed this misleading title by deleting “Bethel Seminary” and substituting “A Christian University” but he didn’t alter much of the misguided content of his opinion piece. This article doesn’t seem to be online anymore, but I have the PDF and may post it later.

I agree with some of what Brannon writes, but before I get to that, I need to clear up a couple of things. Brannon utterly fails when he seeks to equate Bethel University with the so called Emerging Church Movement. He totally misses the distinction between the “Emerging Church” and training “emerging” leaders. describes “emerging” like this:

e·merg·ing adj. Newly formed or just coming into prominence; emergent: emerging markets; the emerging states of Africa.

“Emerging” is a perfectly good word, a useful word. The term “emerging leaders” is a way of speaking about “new” or “young” or “future” leaders. Training emerging leaders is something all seminaries and universities have been trying to do for a long time. But, it is true, that we sometimes use this term today to capitalize on the “media” momentum that the word “emerging” has at present. So let’s give Brannon his due. He isn’t blind to everything with regard to the topic of his article. He sees this clearly. There’s definitely a media creation out there called for lack of a better term, “The Emerging Church.”

Those of you who know me know that I have for years explained that Mosaic is not an “emerging church” [or a “postmodern church” for that matter] in any sense of the word. Mosaic is an established mission with seasoned missional leadership and gobs of experience in effectively taking the gospel to some of the most challenging fields on the planet. No “emerging” happening at Mosaic except for the fact that we 1] have trained for decades now and continue to train younger, emerging leaders, 2] continue to learn and grow ourselves, 3] continue to innovate and break new ground in mission.

Recently a Los Angeles Times reporter was given the assignment to write an article on the “Emerging Church.” In doing her research she called me to talk about Mosaic. After she did her research and wrote the article, I spoke to her about why she chose not to include Mosaic. She had concluded from her research that Mosaic was not an emerging church because emerging churches tended to be “small, white and inward looking.” [Of course, this is not true of every church that self identifies as “emerging” and, what’s more, I see a future for small missional teams of whatever ethnicity, but we’ve got to lose the “inward looking” part]. Sometimes, the secular press gets it faster and deeper than the “Christian” news sources.

What’s more, Mosaic is different from the “Emerging Church” not just in terms of ambition, ethnicity, and mission, but also in attitude and thinking. Many of those who take on the mantle of the Emerging Church seem to me to be burned out Church leaders who needed to bail on a Christianity that offered pat but empty answers. I consider this a good move. But, in contrast, Mosaic is more like a convert who is full of enthusiasm, joy and hope. The new convert moves with speed and intentionality towards Jesus, towards the scriptures, towards Christ following community, and towards the world in service and mission.

Brannon doesn’t “feel” these distinctions. Yet.

So, Mosaic is not an emerging church. Brannon “misses the mark” by equating Bethel, Mosaic and Erwin with the “Emerging Church Movement.” It is true, however, to say that Bethel Seminary, Mosaic and Erwin are quickly becoming the reference points for “emerging” [i.e. “future,” “young,” “potential”] leaders. No doubt about it, they are hot, hot, hot and I highly recommend them all. [I hope it’s not too immodest to add here that “into the mystic…” has also become a quickly growing reference point for emerging leaders. Thanks to all of you for helping me spread the word.] I will continue to use the terms “emerging” and “emerging church” because truthfully I’m just not freaked out by what self-identified “emerging church” leaders are up to. In many ways, I “feel” them.

But I don’t want to be all negative. So let me finish this first installment on a positive note. Brannon also states in his editorial that the kinds of things I write about here at “into the mystic…” are “weird.” Here Brannon and I agree. This is weird. Brannon is not completely off after all. If we’re open, I guess, we can learn from anyone.

see you in the mystic…

Alex McManus

Coming Up at “into the mystic….”:
The Emerging Church -Part 2
The Birthing of Human Machines


63 responses to “Is Mosaic a part of the Emerging Church?”

  1. We miss your weirdness! I hope we can all connect again soon 🙂

    Love to the fam…
    la dusty flower

  2. Well said, well done. JVD

  3. Many have been asking…and my answers, while not pat, have been I can send them here and then they can tell me what they think…thanks for clearing (some) cobwebs.


  4. I’ll admit the first time I read “into the mystic” I thought it was kind of weird. But, the greatest thing about “into the mystic” was that it gave me permission to dream outside the box. When I discovered that there were other “weird” thinkers out there I was elated. I credit the McManus brothers for bringing to the table that which my denomination (the largest protestant denomination ) as a whole would not bring to the table. In short, I have found a comraderie that has brought new joy and enthusiasm into my soul.
    The real problem with labeling as of recent is that it is being used as a tool to undermine great works of God all in the name of tradition. The church has power brokers who do not want to let go so instead they throw jabs and punches. The apostle paul made a great point when he stated that some spread the gospel for different reasons but praise God it is being spread.

  5. Thanks Alex for this post. I found your description and clarification really helpful in explaining these terms to other people. Also, your your thoughts on “the emerging church” in terms of its ambition, ethnicity, and mission have challenged me to take a deeper look into these things. Thanks,


  6. Appreciate this post. Mosiac and my church have some commonality not just in flavour but in the struggle people seem to have in defining/classifying us. I will steal some of your thoughts here to help me respond to them.


    p.s. Praying for a miracle that I might show up at the IMN event in Montreal. Don’t want to miss the opportunity of exploring this stuff from and within a CANADIAN context/perspective!

  7. p.s. – the above link to “my church” doesn’t work because this page added an address in front of the URL I entered for some reason. The link is to


  8. Thanks for this clarification Alex, and thank you for your response to criticism. I’m learning from your example of charity.

    I found Mark Driscoll’s article on the Emergent church helpful as well. You can find it at the following link:
    He gives a breakdown of different “emerging” movements versus Emergent. There has been a lot of labeling and branding going on and it gets confusing.

  9. Ahhhh, so “The Emerging Church” is really not a church at all but more like an idea, a movement, a worldview, a belief system of some sort, a media buzzword or all of the above.

    I still don’t get it…

    I just know that people will take a word or phrase and come up with all these notions about what it means or doesn’t mean.

    I guess it’s a great way to start conversations, debates or a good way to sell magazines or newspapers.

    Can you elaborate a little more about “The Emerging Church”? What it is and what it is not?


  10. I feel “burned out” and sick of “a Christianity that offered pat but empty answers.” But I want to be like “a convert who is full of enthusiasm, joy and hope.” I think I’m moving that direction. I hope so. I think conversations on Vox and the Mystic have helped me move that direction.

    Sometimes I think it’s tough for the kids like me who are just now coming of age, who grew up in the Vineyards and the Willow Creeks. That which is supposedly new and cutting edge no longer inspires. We’re used to wearing blue jeans to church, taking coffee into service with us, and utilizing the arts. Where do you turn when that which is defined as freeing no longer frees?

    I just want to move closer to Jesus. And I’m ready to combine elements of various faiths if it helps me on that quest. The stained glass and incense, the liturgy and the saints of Catholicism blend richly with the blue jeans and coffee of the non-denominational churches. Lutheran and other Protestant hymns complement the songs of Matt Redman and Jeremy Riddle (and if you can throw in African drums, wind chimes, and a rain stick so much the better).

    All of these, whether they are labeled “emergent” or “traditional,” are in the end just the trappings of church. And eventually, you get sick of people who are good at the trappings but don’t seem to ever have questions they can’t answer; who are kind and good at listening to new attendees but treat their co-workers like crap.

    The only thing that can free us of being fake, is Jesus. Therefore he is the only thing I will seek; and to be one who knows and is known by Jesus will be the only label I will strive for. This is my adventure. This is my impossible task. This is my Mystic journey. And I do not give a tinker’s damn for what Brannon Howse may think or say or publish about it.

  11. Mel. Wow. As long as we keep the conversation that real and raw… I have hope for us all.

    I’m printing that out and sticking it to my wall.


  12. Mel, thanks for those thoughts. I resonate with how you’re feeling, and it sounds like your frustrations are leading you in the right direction. Not to a denomination, or a church, or a christian community, but to the source. Cool stuff.

  13. Love those banners – can’t wait!

  14. Congratulations! You know you have made it when someone writes a commentary on you. Without controversy, there would never be change.

  15. It is a bit of a manifesto, isn’t it? When I started writing the comment I didn’t intend for it to go that direction but I guess it took on a life of its own…

  16. James Petticrew Avatar
    James Petticrew

    Alex I thought it was interesting that Eddie Gibbs in what he clearly wants to be seen as the definitive tome on the movement “Emerging Churches” makes no reference to Mosaic, so he clearly doesn’t regard it as an EC. I suspect that Gibbs looks on Mosaic as a sort of supercharged ‘modern’ church and I think in that opinion he is way of beam.
    In general I am not as pessimistic about the EC movement as you are. Yes there are the angry young white men who talk about doing multi-cultural mission and community while Mosaic actually models it. But there are also parts of the movement which are positively proactive. I very much appreciated Brian McLaren’s latests book THE SECRET MESSAGE OF JESUS. Although the tone is different much of what he says about the Kingdom of God being a revolutionary message and movement resonates with things you and Erwin have written and said. Here in the UK I think the best of the EC centred round the conversation being led by Jason Clark in Emergent and Bob Hopkins with Fresh Expressions is a genuine attempt to grapple with what it means to be missional in post-modern, post christendom Europe.

  17. ok, mel, what’s a “tinker’s dam”?

    james, how’s scotland? i don’t think of the parts of the movement that are “proactive” as primarily EC but as primarily missional communities.
    there is more affinity, i think, by the thoughtful, around mission than around style (i.e. willowcreek, mosaic, house/organic, EC). a missional EC has more in common with a missional mosaic and a missional traditional church than they would would with their kindred nonmissional counterparts.

    In fact, the premise of HUMANA 2.0, the conference that the IMN is hosting in Florida (February 7-8), is that the style or structure that you choose is secondary to missionality. Non missional house church –boring. Missional house church –makers of fire. Non missional traditional church –boring. Missional traditional church –makers of fire. Etc. We may differ in SLAM (style, language, attitude/ambiance, music) but must not in missionality. You know what? I think I tried to connect with Jason Clark once while in London. I’m sure they’re doing subversive things for the kingdom too.

  18. James Petticrew Avatar
    James Petticrew

    Alex I can connect you with Jason if you want. Another UK guy I think it would be important for you to meet would be Bob Hopkins. Bob Hopkins used to head up church planting for YWAM and now leads Anglican Church planting drives along with others he has set up Fresh Expressions to encourage and resource fresh missional expressions of church. You can check it out at
    He is based in Sheffield at St Thomas which is one of the most missional communities I know of.
    We are settling into the house and community, still up to our ears in boxes. The festival here has just started it is amazing with 175000 other people we watched the parade yesterday I don’t think I heard another Scottish voice, the world comes to Edinburgh in August.

  19. Ted, thanks for the link to Criswell Journal. I read the article and I’m beginning to understand what you guys are talking about.

    Alex, your topics are very inspiring. They challenge my way of thinking but I have to admit that many times leave me wondering what you are talking about. I guess it’s because I’m not a pastor or leader at the level most of your visitors here are at.

    As I read these posts, I’m reminded of the battles and differences a few years ago at a church I attended. The issues were among Southern Baptists and Pentacostal-type leaders.

    Our previous church was also in some kind of new, radical movement where the pastor called himself an apostle. I realized later that other pastors soon became apostles too and before long, every leader had a goal to one day become an apostle.

    The problem was that there were more important things to do such as reaching the lost, feeding the poor, etc. But, these leaders were caught up in titles, movements or some kind of radical new way of doing church that they forgot what was really important to God.


  20. Alex,

    Colloquialisms 101! Lol. This is an old expression common in New England, where my family lived for ten years. The tinker (or peddler) used to travel around with a wagon from one farm to the next back when towns were few and far between in New England. He’d come once a year, making a circuit, and sell tin wares like kettles, pots and pans, soap- and candle-making molds, etc. as well as a variety of other things it would be difficult for a farmer or his wife to make (and there were shockingly few things they didn’t make themselves). They spent a lot of time on the road or at inns, in rough, strange company, without the civilizing influence of women and children about.

    Anyways the point of this history lesson is that they were widely (and unfairly, perhaps) reputed as profane. They threw around “damns” pretty frequently. So the inference is that not giving a tinker’s damn means you care a lot less than you would if you gave an ordinary damn. If that makes sense. You wouldn’t even give something plentiful– and therefore invaluable– for it, much less something rare that is worth more or means more.

    Sorry if the prevelence of profanity in this post offends anyone; it would be difficult to explain without them!

  21. Thanks for the etymology of “tinker’s damn”, Mel– I love knowing the stories behind words and idioms.

    And I share the passion in your manifesto albeit from a different slant– that of pouring out my missional longings every Sunday morning and in every small group, only to either be patted on the back by those who “listen without hearing” or be left behind by those who heard me well but pursued different visions.

    Do that hard enough and long enough and your church either lights up or empties out. Mine emptied out. So did I.

    Hearing passion like yours goes a long way to restore me, though. I’ve been away from The Mystic a long time, and must hang out here more regularly.

    Grace and strength to you, fellow Warriors!

  22. albert, so true. well said.

    mel, thanks. you made me laugh.

    nick, welcome back. you belong here.

  23. I love words. The make reading and conversing so much more colorful. Never hesitate to ask me about them!

    Thanks for the encouragement, Nick. I hope you have a lit-up day. 🙂


  24. As I read all these posts I notice one thing that all have in common. It seems to me that everyone is wrapped up in finding the best way, program, technique, etc. to be more like Jesus. It seems that so much energy is focused on the method, or vehicle that little time is spent talking about The Lord Himself. When I do see people talk about Him, it isn’t even him. It is the loving Jesus who makes no demands on anyone, but loves everyone as they are. It is not the Jesus who said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
    Unless we as the bride of Christ are pursuing a passionate love relationship with Christ, then we are just being religious. So the post-moderns have come up with a new spin on religiosity. Big deal. None of it means anything.
    If we really want to see the world changed it will only be accomplished by a church that’s members are in such a loving relationship with Him, that nothing else matters. The Holy Spirit will then accomplish social transformation through these smitten individuals. There is an old fashioned term to describe this. It is called revival!

  25. Mike, “the loving Jesus who makes no demands on anyone”? Isn’t that a kind of “psychological” Jesus that doesn’t apear in the scriptures. Even in the verse you quote Jesus makes a demand.

    Yes…transformed people is how social change happens. I like your focused passion. Keep it up.

  26. That’s the point I am trying to make. Christ makes many demands of us. He says that if we don’t love him more than our family members then we are not fit for his kingdom. He says if we love him we will keep his commandments. He says we need to loose our old way of life and take on His way of life. He also says that we need to become disciples and then train others to be disciples. Which means that we need to learn to be disciplined. We can’t just do what ever we want. In fact in means that we need to seek His direction constantly, and follow His instructions as He gives them.
    I have had a bit of experience with some of the new hip ways of being the church. I see some good things happening as far as community goes; I also see some positive things in the area of giving and serving. What I see lacking is discipleship. I see people who do not know God’s work. I see people who no longer believe in the authority of the scripture. I see many things that the bible calls sin justified as being acceptable. I see the gospel message watered down to a feel good positive message that never mentions sin, hell, or judgment. This troubles me.

  27. Hi Alex,

    Stimulating post as usual. I love the concepts of Mosaic that you outline – the training, the continual learning and growth and the breaking of new ground. It’s why so many of us love what you guys are doing and how you are sharing it with us. Awesome.

    Read this article recently and thought you would enjoy it as well – The Rise of the Aerotropolis.

    The aerotropolis – interesting connection in culture don’t you think?

  28. Where’s the hot controversy! I want to read the comments by all of those fearful and angry people … darn!

  29. Tony, thanks for the article. I just finished reading Revolutionary Wealth by Alvin and Heidi Toffler. They speak about airports being more interconnected with each other than with the city/nation in which they exist.

    Will we need to post threads in “airport cities” too? Indeed we will. Love this planet.

  30. AH, Mel. Good to read your voice, my precious niece!
    Do churches have to be Emergent ot be effective? I think for some, like Mel and I, who have grown spiritually through Vineyard and Willow movements, going back to some more traditional, cultural and historical elements of our Christian heritage (normally associated with Emerging worship styles) can be refreshing and help us on our journeys closer to Jesus. Maybe its just a “freeing” to feel like aspects of other expressions of Christianity are healthy and “open” to be explored.
    Now, do the people who go to Mosaic and come from different backgrounds need this “freeing” to grow closer to Jesus? I’d venture to say that, for most, no. Does that make the Emergent Movement useless? Nah. Just not helpful to everyone, and THAT’S OK.
    When will people stop beating on each other and respect that some peoples’ journeys towards a better understanding of who God is may not all look the same?
    Ugh. Brannon’s article was graceless and Godless. That’s the way Satan wins vistories- get the troops squabbling among themselves instead of paying attention to the real battle…
    Thanks for guiding us out of the fray…
    PS- We need to do dinner now that I’m here in Los Angeles!!

  31. Lori, so true. Does the fact that Mosaic is not an Emerging Church make the Emerging Church a bad thing? Absolutely not. I undertand that in the UK, the emerging church movement seems to have more of a missional edge.

    I consider Mosaic Post-Emergent. That’s why so many emerging leaders seek to access Mosaic and the IMN.

  32. James Petticrew Avatar
    James Petticrew

    I think one of the problems with the “emerging church” is the word “emerging” it has become connected with a ‘style’ and the best of the EC is clear that their ecclesiology is not driven by methodology but theology. The EC movement is not “Willow Creek” for the 21st century. They are trying to fundamentally rethink what God’s intention for the church is. My own preference is for the title ” ‘missional’ church” because it captures the idea which has been rediscovered that the church exists for mission. I wonder if the term ‘contextualizing church’ might contribute something to the debate by reminding us that because of the Incarnation there is contextual imperative in the Body of Christ. The church must always be contextualizing itself to the surrounding culture. This is my problem with methodological understandings of church growth such as Willow and Saddleback, they are contextualized to their culture, they cannot simply be imported into other cultures. They are examples of “contextualzing church” not a universal models of effective missional churches. This is part of my attraction to Mosaic, Erwin and Alex have always emphasized ‘ethos” not methodology, the values which create a missional contextualizing church.
    I would highly recommend Craig Van Gelders “The Essence of the Church” to anyone wanting to think through how to contextualize the church.

  33. While Mosaic may not be an EC (to borrow the popular shorthand)… which makes me wonder are you NOT an EC just because you say you’re not? Maybe that stance makes you look like even more of an EC? Maybe even an Uber-EC. The Johnny Depp in a movement full of Ben Afflecks. Ah ya gotta love pomo.

    And that makes me wonder if perception of a church or leader can sometimes define their influence even more than what they do (missional), despite us all wanting to believe otherwise, in which case a rose by any other name…

    I mean if as leader you turn around to see who’s following, and all your followers look, smell and walk like ducks… you might be a duck no matter how much you meow.

    I’m not implying this is the case for Mosaic, Erwin or Alex. Just pondering out loud. And wondering if they would fit under a broader definition of EC (like “any church or leader doing anything that wasn’t generally done in the 70’s”) rather than a narrower one (based on only your comments here your definition feels to me to be slightly narrower than may be accurate Alex)

    OK I’m really tired and I digress…

    While Mosaic may not be an EC (to borrow the popular shorthand)… perhaps some people get confused by Erwin’s involvement in books like Leonard Sweet’s “The Church in Emerging Culture” (thinly veiled EC book… the title is the thin veil) and Russinger/Fields’ “Practitioners” (an unapologetically EC book that is the first one frankly that gives me hope the EC will move beyond rhetoric to something meaningful aka societally transformative…at least chapter 2 does… that’s as far as I’ve read)

    I agree Alex with what you say about missional churches from two different flavours having more in common with each other than two churches under a vanilla banner, whether the banner read EC or traditional, etc. This dynamic seen through futurist-coloured glasses is why I’m here. This is the power of blogging and online community to me. To create a 5th dimensional strata of individulas that transcends the xyz axis strata of umbrellas like EC, modern, traditional, Willowy, Vineyardish, etc…. fluid forming and reforming digi-tribes made up of individuals from myriad SLAM-diverse bricks-and-mortar tribes… and also transcends the forth dimension of time which also implies temporal if not spatial proximity… but here in the blogosphere real-time is when you read this… not when I wrote it.

    At this point your wondering what I’ve been smoking and what the character limit is on a comment box.

    One more quick comment. We need the voice and innovation of post-emergent anomolies like Mosiac and [ahem] Riverwood. I love what the term post-emergent implies in the context you are using it Alex. However here in the Canadian prairies post-emergent has one context: herbicide. Can’t we find a deeply meaningful and representative present-tense term that is neither post-this nor pre-that? I’m tired of defining now as “not the past”. That doesn’t move me.

    It’s true that He was. It’s true that He will be. But His Name is I AM. There is no future until we have a now.


  34. Labels are dangerous. They are confining and and often misleading. The “established” church and her cohorts are quick to hand them out however. This wierdness that is taking root….it seems to threaten some.

    Count me in!

  35. At so called Emerging Churches gathering, of which ours has been thrown into, a person was talking about how important it is to get back to our ancestral roots – when Marlon Hall – Cultural Architect of the Awaking Movement in Houston jumped in, “Where am I in this? Ancestral roots? All I’ve been hearing and seeing is Medieval European rituals. My ancestral roots are Africa. Where do I fit in this movement? His comments reminded me of the Barbarian Way conversation. Let us get back to the essence of faith, and the one who called us to worship our Father in heaven, not a tradition or style, or personality. I trust that the Holy Spirit is at work in the places that look outward – Acts 8. May God persecute the Church so those who have not heard, like the Ethiopian eunuch hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Talking about Africa, maybe someone could talk about how this News is so important we equate it with how fast rhinos run. . . I am grateful for the Mosaic and Awakenings movements, the enthusiasm is contagious.

  36. Hey Alex,

    Great post. Very well said! “The new convert moves with speed and intentionality towards Jesus, towards the scriptures, towards Christ following community, and towards the world in service and mission.” I love that!

    Looking forward to seeing you in Chattanooga…

  37. In my experience, when people who follow Jesus’ teachings speak of mysticism, they’re refering to the simple fact that there’s more about God that we DON’T know than there is that we DO know. His word gives enough info that we can follow him, but it certainly does not open the entire universe of knowledge to us. Many things have to wait. In fact, so many things, that it will take all eternity to fully search out. Mysticism has been part of the church from its inception. If years later, a pagan says “from now on, mysticism means such-and-such” and a christian replies “oh, you must be right…mysticism really MUST mean such-and-such” that christian is not thinking.

  38. I have not read all the comments above in detail but as I see it the very fact that we give labels to different expressions of church, denominations etc., is in itself divisive. Christ simply called his followers disciples andgave them a mission.May be we need to get right back to basics!

  39. […] Alex Mcmanus of Mosaic Church in LA has an interesting observation and reflection on the emerging church and Mosaic’s link to things emerging into the mystic… » Is Mosaic a part of the Emerging Church? […]

  40. boy we must really making some fire….to have all these alarms being sounded….it seems to me that those who are static always accuse those who move with speed and intention of heresy.if i recall correctly that’s what happened to Jesus….if anything good comes from this alex, is that it is forcing the question what is mosaic…anyone who looks with mystic eyes can see the high value of scripture, the Name of Jesus alone, the call to mission, service, and sacrafice.The call of the kingdom above the call of self.I should know i hung out and studied you guys for 2 years before before mosaic miami “emerged”……
    kevin s
    missional leader, maker of fire
    mosaic miami

  41. nooc, you crack me up. Don’t know what you’ve got wrapped up in that toke, but pass it this way. 😉

    Can’t we find a deeply meaningful and representative present-tense term that is neither post-this nor pre-that? I’m tired of defining now as “not the past”. That doesn’t move me.

    It’s true that He was. It’s true that He will be. But His Name is I AM. There is no future until we have a now.

    That would be nice! Post-modern presupposes that you know what modernism is and how it affected the church. Post-emergent presupposes that you know what the EC is all about.

    Let me be the advocate of the intelligent but uneducated; those that never attended seminary and can’t afford the IMN! Somebody, please come up with a name that says what we are rather than what we aren’t! I agree it would be nice if we could do without labels and their limitations but it’s difficult to communicate with specificity if you rule out the option of using any words. 😉

  42. Looks like the term “missional” fits. Alex hit this on his 8/6 9:55 post. I have struggled for a few years trying to understand all the other labels – PM, EC, etc – and keep up with them, but missional, I get.I also am in the process of leading my sphere of greatest influence in this, my family. I have served in Creative Arts ministry for 21 yrs, mostly bi-vocational, and when I went to the Origins Experience in 2K4, I was blown away. Try explaining that one to a Sthrn Bap church Administrator – “I just gotta go! God’s telling me to! No, there aren’t any details and I have no idea even who’s speaking!” 🙂 Thank you, Mosaic for not being tied to schedules. I digress.Anyway, back to the family – just yesterday, my wife was lamenting over a need one of her friends has and had “prayed about it.” In one of my more lucid moments-thanx to the Holy Spirit-I told her that she is God’s hands and feet on earth. If she wants God to minister to her friend, how is SHE going to do it? I’m sure none of you have this problem, but we home grown Southern Baptists pray for everyone waiting for some supernatural God thing to happen outside of our getting off our butts to do it! My new favorite drink is Vault and also my new favorite slogan – “Get to it!”Hopefully, we will not be another community on this site that just talks about great things, but is actually engaged and leading by example.

  43. Now we’re getting somewhere. Bryan I have to agree that the need is clear for the Church to once again become a place where the power of God is experienced and lived out (not exclusive to buildings mind you) rather than a place where it is merely talked about. Sure we need to communicate it effectively, but what’s a more powerful way than demonstration?

    Hmmm…reminds me a young Jewish fellow, went by the name of Jesus, communicated quite effectively by demonstrating what He was talking about…..just sayin’.

    If folks get bent out of shape with the labels they try to paste on something like that, that’s unfortunate. It shouldn’t stop us from the “mission”. Slowing down to help them come to an intellectual understanding only slows down the harvest of the fruit. IMHO

  44. Alex … after reading this thread I am confused, and yet challenged to understand more.

    Are you saying you agree with the doctrines of the Emergent Church, but Mosaic is not part of the Emergent Church?

    Do you personally, apart from Mosaic, believe in the doctrines of the Emergent Church, not simply their style and look?

    Are you in support of the Emergent Church, or not?

  45. Yo curious, can you point me to somewhere that defines/states/infers the actual doctrine of the Emergent Church? I have actually looked for this and can’t find anything definitive. Maybe you’re my resource.

  46. Curious,

    As far as I know there is no such thing as “The Emerging Church”. The Emerging Church is a media creation.

    Certainly, there are new churches from within various traditions grappling with either reaching new people from non church culture or experiencing their own faith in new ways. These new churches come from within all of the labels–“reformed”, “liberal”, “conservative”, “independant”, etc –and represent a wide theological spectrum. Also, there are new alliances forming. All to be expected in a time of rapid change.

    What I like about the current missiological/theological conversation is the openness. My goal in the conversation is to put the mission of Christ front and center. Churches that form around the mission of Christ are crucial to reaching the west and the world.

    So, in answer to your questions…yes, I am in support of any church “emerging” or not that pursues Christ’s mission.

    Hope that helps.

  47. When I grow up and get to be more like Jesus, I want to see the Church like He sees it. When the Body looks like Him, will we be looking crosseyed at other emerging expressions? In that mode, the body is not seeing the harvest field. It’s looking to the right or left. Is that what’s called lazy eye? Or is that even the evil eye? Lord Jesus, heal me of those tendencies.

    Hey, what if the apostle Paul got it right when he wrote that it would be “with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep, the love of Jesus is–and to know the love of Christ that goes way beyond knowledge–so that we might be filled to full measure with the fulness of God.”? What if we can’t quite see the total redemptive vision without the emergent church? What if we can’t see it without those stiff traditionalists and radical revisionists? What if we can’t see it if all we do is parrot theologians or evangelical popstars from our western cultural contexts?

    By the way, does any of this speak to why you named a church Mosiac?

  48. John,

    What if we can’t see it without the theologians, evangelical popstars, and western cultural contexts?

    about the name Mosaic…a metaphor that speaks of broken humanity made into a beautiful work of art through Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  49. By the ‘ECk’! (For those who are not from the UK that is a Yorkshire coloquialism of amazement). In all the time we have spent commenting and throwing words about through space about EC etc., how many of us has actually walked it instead of just talking it!?

  50. Alex,
    Thank you for that gentle reminder. Yes, I would agree that we do need to see what’s already on the billboards as part of the picture, and be blessed that it is part of the picture. That Ephesians passage also says that if it were possible to put all the insights of the ages onto one golden CD, we’d still have to wait for the Kingdom tribute from saints yet to come: “all saints” again.

    I’m in a traditional church that has a refreshing openness to where God wants to take us next.
    I don’t expect an emerging church, so much as an emerging clarity about where churches need to be.

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