How Does the Emerging Church Deal With Babies?

It has come to my attention that the emerging church is starting to age a little.  It is not that it doesn’t attract younger people any more, more that the younger people of yester-year are now older.  With this comes additional responsibilities like marriages, mortgages and……. babies.

So how does the emerging church cope with babies?  It is not as though many alternative worship events offer crèche facilities.  So what does the emerging church do with all those young mums and dads who want to be part of an emerging community and worship at an alternative service?

Answers on a postcard to the usual address…


14 Responses

  1. let’s see if i’m recognised as spam.
    this issue is going to have to be sorted if the emerging church ever truly wants to emerge. it is truly a biggy and will only get bigger.

  2. maybe there needs to be some kind of ‘alternative creche’…

  3. I know what you mean, if we can’t deal with it, people effectively become excluded. I think that the emerging churches are often too small to have the person-power to effectively do anything.

    Much was made at Greenbelt of the relationship between the EC and the ‘institutional church’. When the panel of EC leaders did a seminar on Friday night, there was considerable split between them. Pete Rollins was quite scathing towards the ‘mixed economy church’ said that the EC would kill the ‘institutional church’ and that it would be a good thing. He was pretty well chastised by many on the stage with him as many of them are grateful to the ‘institutional church’ for the support that they give.

    My point is that there are many fantastic people in the ‘institutional church’ and that by fostering links it may be possible to find that the ‘institutional church’ can offer some sort of assistance with the little people. If there are people who are not interested in what is going on at Inspire for example who are members of St Peters, perhaps it is through a mutual sharing of gifts between the ‘mixed economy’ that we can fully embrace families within the emerging church.

    ‘alternative creche’ with flashing lights and video loops where babies can liksten to trance music. I like it!!

  4. Well if the grown ups all have bean bags, crayons and trays of sand to play with, maybe the alternative creche has hard pews and a long sermon….maybe…? 😉

  5. 😆

    Carole, you have hit the nail on the head!!


  6. Hmm…not being involved in the emerging church as such (unless you include our cyberfellowship) I don’t know if I have much to say of value. But as an outsider, I have been impressed with how much the Anglican church has fostered the concept of fresh expressions. If I had no contact with church at all, but I wanted to be part of a church community, I would go to the nearest building with a big cross on it. I would probably think small groups were just weirdos if I had no prior knowledge of them. Now if you can have lots of little groups under the general umbrella of ‘the church’ I would feel much more secure. And I feel that it would amount to some sort of accountability. How very uncourageous of me!!!

    And I tend to think that it takes a lot of effort to start up a small group and keep it going. I suspect many would disperse as soon as a key player left the set up. I certainly don’t see the emergent church as a replacement for the institutional church – unless of course it grows to be the institutional church itself. I just think that’s they way people like things.

  7. “accountability”

    This is where I think the key to any church activity lies. Whether it is accountability of leaders to something larger or something larger to the masses. When accountability is lost things tend to go pear shaped.

    The reformation was based upon the lack of accountability that ‘the church’ was showing to the people. The Nine O’clock Service went off the rails because of a lack of accountability to the larger church structures. It is a two way street.

    This is what will make me unpopular with others in the EC!

    I must write a blog about what Pete Rollins said about the relationship between EC and ‘institutional church’.

    I suspect many would disperse as soon as a key player left the set up.

    This happens all over the place. Not just in the EC. People will follow a vicar from parish to parish.

    It is the Cult of Personality.

  8. Exactamente amigo!! 🙂

  9. Visions in York do (or at least did) a monthly baby friendly service as a few in their congregation now have little ones.

    I haven’t been so I can’t really comment on it.

  10. Interesting. I may have a wander up there and have a look.

  11. Once the emerging church has got over the shock of having to have emerging creche for the babies, they may well discover that babies have a habit of turning into big kids, so will have to have emerging Sunday School too.

    I knew this would happen!

  12. And that is just the circle of things. Perhaps when we emerge fully we will realise that there is a rhyme and a reason attached to the institution 😆

  13. An academic (I think it was Niebuhr, but don’t quote me on that) once said that the way in which any emergent faith group engages its children is the main determinant of whether it will either continue to grow, develop and remain relevant… or will stagnate, tradionalise and institutionalise, getting drawn back into the mainstream. (That was a crap sentence I know… I’m not hugely awake) But I think that that’s saying, essentially, is that it’s a crucial, central, vital question…

  14. Very true grace. Was it Brian McClarren who said that the problem with the reformation is that it is seen as a one hit wonder.

    “Our church is a reformed church – we don’t believe in that here”

    What we actually need for sustainablity and growth (corporatly and personally) is a reforming church.

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