Incarnation in the Emerging Church

Whilst at Greenbelt I managed to get to lots of talks on the relationship between the emerging church and society.  One of the most interesting points that I heard whilst there was about the need to be incarnational.  As part of our journey we are to become more like Christ.  As Jesus was incarnational, as we become like him we therefore become more incarnational.  This seems to be directly opposed to some views of discipleship that create an almost separatist view of the Christian journey.  We often hear the phrase “in the world but not of the world” as a justification for spending time avoiding contact with anyone who is outside of the church.  This would seem to be incongruous with our need to be incarnational.

 

This incarnational growth also has wider implications for the emerging church from an ecclesiological point of view.  The emerging church is often in danger of being seen as a repackaging of church services for people who can’t engage with Sunday Morning church.  However, it needs to be much more than that.  The Emerging church needs to be encouraging disciples who follow Christ.  This is why ‘new monasticism’ is having such a big impact upon the emerging church as people are more interested in the man at the centre of faith rather than the trappings that the church has placed around Him.

 

Lets grow like to be like Christ, relate to the world in an incarnational way like Christ and interact within it in the manner of Christ.

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2 Responses

  1. Grrrr. Gremlins just stole my big long comment!

    I’ve not been by your blog for some time – sorry.

    Just wanted to say hurray! and yes indeed! and well said! for this post.

    When I first became aware of the Emerging Church thing, I admit I thought it was a bunch of smug middle class young men feeling superior to the rest of us who were too simple minded to have grown out of church as they had. (I still do see that element sometimes).

    But having worked 15 months now in prison chaplaincy, ironically enough I’ve been hugely liberated by the experience (unlike the prisoners). I’ve had to shed so much ecclesiological baggage and I’ve realised that “incarnational” is exactly where it’s at.

  2. Thanks for your kind words Anne, sorry about the gremlins!

    I want to have something to add but your last paragraph says anything I could hope for!

    “I was a prisoner and you did not visit me”

    Thank you for being there when I was not!!

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