The "emerging church" movement is perhaps the most significant church trend of our day. The emerging church offers and encourages a new way of doing and being the church. While it largely resonates with an eighteen-to-thirty-four-year-old audience--the first fully postmodern generation--it is also gaining popularity with older Christians and encompasses a broad array of traditional and contemporary churches. Emerging Churches explores this movement and provides insight into its success.
Filled with the latest research and interesting, anecdotal testimonies from those on the cutting edge of ministry, this book provides pastors, church leaders, and interested readers with an insightful glimpse into the thriving churches of today--and tomorrow.
Eddie Gibbs (B.D., London University; D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is the Donald A. McGavran Professor of Church Growth at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed ChurchNext, winner of a Christianity Today book award.
Ryan K. Bolger (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of church in contemporary culture at the School of Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Gibbs (ChurchNext) and Bolger, both of Fuller Theological Seminary and who
believe that churches need to respond to current social issues to remain
viable, here explore the subject of emerging churches. They illustrate the
intersection between religion and contemporary society and the ways people
relate to this religious community in the United Kingdom and the United
States. Chapter topics include identifying with Jesus, transforming secular
space, serving with generosity, and leading as a body. Throughout, Gibbs and
Bolger portray the importance that emerging churches place on responding to
contemporary society. They describe how they function as well as explain
their draw by sharing participants' stories, faith journeys, and commitment to
their church and include interview testimonies from 49 emerging church
leaders, among them Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Karen Ward, and Spencer Burke.
Best for libraries where there is interest and an existing collection
supporting contemporary religious life.-Naomi Hafter, Baltimore Copyright
2006 Reed Business Information.
Mention "emerging churches" around a random selection of today's church
leaders and half will have no idea what you are talking about while the other
half are busy trying to plant one. This book informs the uninitiated while
also helping overeager planters understand that these unique communities, as
their name implies, emerge gradually, many times without the help of the
institutional church. Fuller Seminary researchers Gibbs and Bolger spent five
years collecting data in both the U.S. and U.K. and interviewing 50
leaders-most under the age of 40-to uncover important patterns among emerging
churches. They emphasize the life of faith as Jesus demonstrated, employ a
"going out" attitude toward the world rather than expecting people to "come
to" their communities and consider all of life sacred. Also, these communities
prefer relationships to meetings, so there may be no set worship gathering
time or, indeed, no fixed place to meet. The authors paint emerging churches
as attractive, hopeful and ever-evolving, populated by some of the most
vibrant, open-minded and service-oriented young Christians. Readers who are
attached to "church business as usual" will be shaken up by this book, while
those ready for a change will find it energizing. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed
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