The key identity issue is not simply the identityof being Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal,Lutheran, etc., considered separately ...but a shared, emerging identityasvibrant, collaborative, missionalChristians.
- Flexible global network of- vibrant missional congregations...- Who emphasize spiritual vitality andtheological depth- Who practice invitation, welcome, disciple-making, diversity, and inclusion,- Who express compassion in the pursuit ofsocial justice- Who cherish tradition with a bias towardsinnovation- Above all, who follow Jesus Christ, guided andempowered by the Holy Spirit, to the glory ofGod.
the identity questionall mainlineProtestants face:do we imitate thewords/policies or theexample of ourfounders?
Emerging ChurchesBy Eddie Gibbs and Ryan K. Bolger(Baker, 2005)9 characteristics
1. Recentering the gospel on Christ andthe Kingdom of God …“May your kingdom come…”Sanctification …
2. Engaging culture without a sacred-secular dualismField preaching … popular music3. Doing life together in communitybetween SundaysBand, class, society
4. Listening with openness, including theoutsiderBecoming more “vile” -5. Serving those in need without ulteriormotiveSocial holiness
6. Involving participants actively inworshipQueries … licensing preachers7. Valuing creativity in the image of theCreatorCharles’ hymnody
8. Leading through networks, with orwithout hierarchiesRenewal through parallel “marginal”structures … itineracy as flexibility9. Integrating ancient and avante-garde inspiritual formationSpiritual direction … Anam cara …monastic/formational community
5. Methodist identity isunder stress - whichmeans it can breakopen (or break apart).
we need a theology ofinstitutions, movements. andCommunities
CommunitiesFamilies, individuals, andorganizations linked to acommon environment,collaborating for thecommon good.
Institutions:Organizations which conservethe gains made by pastsocial movements.
Social MovementsOrganizations which makeproposals or demands tocurrent institutions to makeprogress towards newgains.
A beautiful movement is being born.You are about to surprise everyone bylaunching a movement that bringstogether innovative bishops, ds’s,pastors (large and small church),artists, activists, and lay leaders(business, professions, etc.).
You can expect this movement to bebigger than Methodism.Remember that you are eithergoverning/tending a constituency thatwill be captured by othermovements ... or your arechoosing/leading the movementyourselves.