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Emerging conversation USA Why do you think the US and UK might be slightly different in terms of emerging church?

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Presentation on theme: "Emerging conversation USA Why do you think the US and UK might be slightly different in terms of emerging church?"— Presentation transcript:

1 emerging conversation USA Why do you think the US and UK might be slightly different in terms of emerging church?

2 emerging conversation USA The conversations and expressions of emerging church in the UK and USA are different to the degree that their: 1. cultures, 2. the religious and theological scene and, 3. the historical context out of which the emerging church arises are different.

3 emerging conversation USA Cultural Differences: a. Due to its [the church] cultural entrenchment, the church no longer relates to the surrounding culture hence its increasing marginalization and perceived irrelevance.” Gibbs 2006:18 – greater in UK therefore US did not feel the effects until later.

4 emerging conversation USA The shifts in the west in general from – modernity to postmodernity; westernization to globalisation., from print to electronic, national companies to global

5 emerging conversation USA Cultural differences cont: b. UK vs US cities In the UK emerging church must be more intentionally missional in establishing a presence and in building indigenous faith communities.

6 emerging conversation USA Cultural differences cont: c. In many places in the US there are still social incentives to stay in church – Christian sub-culture d. UK club culture more prevalent – affects the merging church culture to a much larger extent.

7 emerging conversation USA Cultural summary: Because the UK has lower church attendance, more aging urban centres, a higher social cost of Christian adherence, a lack of an evangelical subculture, and a preference for club culture over guitar culture, the missional encounter will take different forms in the UK than in the US. Gibbs 2006: 26

8 emerging conversation USA 2. Religious and theological scene: a.US church attendance 40% (inflated maybe by 10-15%) church attendance UK 8%. b.Stronger more distinctive evangelical subculture in the US…

9 emerging conversation USA 3. Historical Context of emerging church. 4 important historical differences Middleton and Walshes “Truth is Stranger Than it Used to Be” McLaren’s New Kind of Christian a. Started about a decade later in the US compared to the UK.

10 emerging conversation USA historical context cont. b. Historically the US emerging church is more polarized from denominations and evangelicals: Gen X outreach You can still see this in blogs. Conversation with my sister… Two blogs Becky and Tony

11 emerging conversation USA historical context cont c. Its hard to get away from success syndrome in the US. Numbers, transforming the church, controversies. Maybe because they are younger. d. It has been quicker to commercialise from the perspective of UK emergent thinkers

12 emerging conversation USA II. Comparing 3 key elements to see how these differences show themselves and what binds them together. 1. Missional: a foremost concern on both sides of the Atlantic is being missional. Possibly the strongest link among emerging churches

13 emerging conversation USA By Missional I mean: 1. the emerging movement becomes missional by participating, with God, in the redemptive work of God in this world. 2. it seeks to become missional by participating in the community where God's redemptive work occurs. 3. participating in the holistic redemptive work of God in this world.

14 emerging conversation USA Mars Hill – GR Grace Solomon’s Porch

15 emerging conversation USA But how that mission is lived out is slightly different because of the different cultures. EXPLAIN UK needs to work a bit more because of the alienation and marginalisation of church. There is a stronger anti church attitude and a greater disconnect from the church and popular culture.

16 emerging conversation USA 2. The mission to a great extent is directed toward and lived within the context of post modernity. to or with or for PM the US response has been much more polarized with churches taking a ardent stance against post-modernity.

17 emerging conversation USA 3. One final similarity / difference is worship (there are a number of others that you can discover arising from the contextual differences)

18 emerging conversation USA Lex orandi, lex credendi – the law (way) of prayer is the law of belief. Our worship reflects our beliefs – culture etc. Historically the liturgy provided the theological framework for the creeds. In the UK the worship came first – NOS, Grace, etc. – Alt. worship in fact was the early terminology.

19 emerging conversation USA What are other differences you are aware of and why do you think it’s different? Other Questions for discussion. What has been your experience with emerging church and how does it express the local history, culture and theology? What are the implications of this lecture for the starting of an emerging church?

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