The question started this morning via Cooper at PoMoMuSiNgS questioning whether Mars Hill is an Emerging Church.
Creech had some good stuff:
The question for me and for many church planters - people who have jumped out of the boat to find another island - are doing is trying to get to the heart of the matter - what IS the church? Why is it here? All the answers we have EVER been given are on the chopping block - they won't do simply because they are there. So, we lay them all down and we pick them up one by one and ask, "why is this here?" - "is this legitimate?" - "does this harm or help?" - and the big one - "does this or that help to effectively form me and those whom I am bound together with into the image of Jesus Christ?" The answer to this question is what causes me to "be the church" how I be it. The question, you understand me, is NOT, "does this or that effectively communicate the gospel to the postmodern generation around me?" If that were the question, I would not be asking deeply enough. I would be asking within my former framework of thinking. I would still be wondering how best to get people to come to church and how to make that church service relevant to them when they do come.
But don't just look to find things that seem cool and copy them! Jump off the cliff and hit the freakin' rocks below and die a bloody death to everything before! Do it now!!! If you do not, you will never ever know if any of it is good and healthy and formational or not. You will not know because you will have stayed in the land of assumptions. So, you may come back alive from that death and realize, for instance, that liturgy IS good and DOES help to form people effectively into the image of Christ - and then you will do it because of that and not because you never questioned it and you assumed it was just good. And you will not do it because you were desperate to reach the young people and you found out they like that cool, mystical crap and so you cranked up some candles and incense and did it, and they came, and declared, "it is cool."