WELC08/YWAM and the Emerging Church

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At the WELC conference, 50 of us met from Western Europe, to discuss these issues april 2, 2008

Carl Tinnion's Introduction to the Post-Modern and the Emerging Church

Recommend Reading List

  • Searching For God Knows What; Blue Like Jazz; Let the Story Guide You - Donald Miller
  • Velvet Elvis; NOOMA videos; Sex God - Rob Bell
  • Generous Orthodoxy; A New Kind Of Christian series - Brian McLaren
  • Mustard Seed verus McWorld - Tom Sine
  • Liquid Church - Peve Ward
  • Organic Church - Neil Cole
  • Church Planting Movements - Garrat
  • How Not To Speak Of God - Pete Rollins
  • The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
  • Life of Pi

Feedback From Discussion Groups at the WELC

(In the numerous paragraphs below, Carl Tinnion, asked a group of 50 plus Western Europe YWAM leaders to give their feedback, history, experience, questions, concerns, and what else about post-modernity and the emerging church, and what YWAM's role is amongst it all. Notes taken by Bethany Fowler)

Group A.) The Emerging church is relational, not typically limited to a building... Not a structure. Why do we plant churches??! Maybe we shouldn't be planting churches. Is it scripture to actually plant churches? We believe that it's about making disciples, perhaps we've lost the focus. (question: is the church a building or a community of disciples in proactive relationship with one another and God?) The emerging church is about emerging leadership, there is typically a facilitator, not a pastor or director. We should think in terms of emerging leadership. We need to be linked, connected by relationships between groups, mobile teams to go between those groups. The emerging church seems to be held together by common vision, relationships... We shouldn't lay ownership on anything, you know?! Because it kills, it's the Lord's work not ours.

Group B.) Issue of authenticity is key... Danger is people wanting to be accepted, discipleship being removed... There is a value of relationship... Self-centered faith, not tailoring faith to be like me... How do we bring in us? Without painting myself heavy metal black...being impacted by Christ, impacting others, accepting, going towards something together... (she's talking about being seperate from PM to not be self-centered but run alongside them, they run alongside us).

Group C.) Should YWAM be involved? They're all liberal... PM's... Emerging church. If we don't get involved they might get extreme in a negative nazi way. Hospitality is key to PM... YWAM is good at hospitality... What will the church think? Lets go where the norm church can't go...YWAM can go to the sub-groups, the gaps, the people groups untouched.

Group D.) What is church? Who is church? When is church? (we've figured it out... hahah... not really [says the lady]) We need to live out church in our daily lives no matter what denomination... living and loving rather than speaking... danger, us being bitter towards the old, church is about God and what the holy spirit wants us to do... worshiping the PM danger.

Group E.) Lack of discipleship, we wonder if there is a link of generations, learn how to relate through them... Place of diversity... Creating a space that doesn't finger point you're right we're wrong etc...

Group F.) Post-modernity has a strand of rediscovery in the jewish root of the bible... Post-modernity is YWAM... DTS wise... DTS teaching styles need change... What is truth? Relative truth, greek meaning... What is church? Church is better when you're living with people... What does that look like? Homosexuality and AIDS?? Haha.

Group G.) Dangers of accepting PM for all it is... All the mini roads to God, boarderline sketch books that aren't biblical, accepting too much is a caution, making sure we hold on to tradition, truth, YWAM emerging emerging church... How YWAM can change with the PM, relative. Have a voice in the church, there is a place for us to speak, we are naturaly inclusive and community oriented...

Group H.) Truth... Is PM truth relative? Looking for new truth, how YWAM wants to act out of biblical truth... How to practically apply truth in reality...emerging churchs aren't afraid of questioning, conversations, a new level of commitment... When we see it lived out, the commitment comes. The new church is trying to find connection with non-christians... Not afraid of sketch theology, how are we relevant? What works for youth is good mentorship...Leadership is in a different way, not about positions, building a church, there are challenges however...

Group I.) Leadership facilitator, open for questioning, conversation. Search for truth, authenticity. How to be a Christian and be in the world. Families... New ways, exploring how that relates. Danger of being too accepting, as post moderns. Trying to find the balance. Relational, community. Being lead by God, not people. Focus on non-christians, missions focused... Outside of the traditional church building!

Random J.) Living what you believe rather than verbal arguing, persuading, the pluralist "elephant" parable is way too far, how do we know what truth is? What is faith? What is trust? What do we hope in? PM is revaluating everything doctrinal, theological, structural, etc... Figuring out what are we actually following, or who are we following? Rob Bell? Martin Luther? Wesley? How do we play key roles in this narrative, this universe, we're rediscovering spirituality. Experiential rather than black and white fundamental rule book. (ex. Don't swear, don't be gay... PM's are possibly making mistakes and learning from them, propelling towards God) balance between old and new... Not leaving the wreckage of the old ship to rot, but taking parts of it to build a new ship (that will probably wreck in the end, and then we'll have post-post-modernism)... Haha! Traditions are hearty they are secure, the things that have carried through generations, like love one another, hospitality, honoring respecting life, humans. What is absolute? Only love? Or is there more? If you believe that there is no absolute truths... You believe absolutely that there isn't... Thus contradicting yourself.

Frustrating for the brain... It may all look like circles talking about it, but what does this look like living, acting it out?