Driving around talking to people about faith and God has caused me to think more about how Christians communicate their faith. One of the key developments of the past few years is what has come to be known as the Emerging or Emergent Church.
The Emerging Church movement seeks to develop churches that are more attractive to those outside of the institutional church culture.
Many people these days are not comfortable standing and singing songs with other people or sitting through a long exposition of the Bible. Various groups have sought ways to bridge this divide and present the message of Jesus Christ in a more manageable format.
As I have reflected on this and investigated contemporary church responses to what may be called the post-Church era I have found myself uneasy at one particular aspect. It seems that some new churches may just be a response by bored, disenfranchised Christians who want to do something that they like. These Christians get together with like-minded Christians and form a new, contemporary church which they all enjoy. What has happened is that it the same Church in different clothes. To be blunt, these churches are still glorified social clubs.
What I am praying through is how to connect with the people I meet in the taxi and not creating a trendy cafe church environment for Christians who lack a stable social network. If anyone has any information on setting up a cafe church please let me know. I have sounded out the idea with non-Christians and a lapsed Anglican and have received a very positive response. One person, last week, told me he was in and I haven't got anywhere for him to be "in" yet!
Too much of what passes as Christian responses to the postmodern era is a shifting of the deck chairs on the Titanic. I don't want to rearrange a sinking ship; I want to be part of manning the life boats and discovering a new place where people can ask difficult questions, explore spirituality and journey towards Jesus without feeling judged or condemned.