Highlights from Emergent Germany


I've hardly had time to sit down since getting back from the Emergent Germany event. You should be able to find all the main session by Brian McLaren and I, from the 3 days here. I thought I'd blog about some reflections and highlights from my time there.

1. People: So many people, several hundred over the 3 days, from so many backgrounds. High Church, low Church, state church, independent, charismatic, non charismatic, young and old. Also a wide range from theology professors, to people with no theological training.

2. Challenge: Trying to do an introduction to emerging church in three locations, with limited time, with such a diverse group, was a challenge. I'm sure for some it was too light, and lacked substance, and for others it was too dense and needed more introduction. But overall the buzz and feedback from most people was encouraging.

3. Indigenous: Despite an american and brit offering key material as input, we tried hard, as did the team in Germany to involve local people. I was impressed at the numbers, and depth of their understanding and engagement, and to have so many women involved.

4. Themes: Brian majored on explaining the transition to postmodernity, that produces the emerging context, that all churches find themselves responding to.

We both talked about the need for a 'deep ecclesiology', one of the major themes of the events, that we need the church in all it's forms including new ones, in our response to the challenges of emerging culture.

I sketched out some tools/grids for the different kinds of emerging church, and how people might locate where they and others are, as well as looking at some theological issues of knowing and being, that are part of our cultural make up.

Brian rounded things off with material from his new book, mostly about how church rather than attending to it's own problems, should orient itself towards the missional context of the world, and the problems we are all facing.

5. New Friends:Spending time with friends, being in a car with the chance for many hours of conversations, making new friends, drinking great german beer, and seeing some key reformation sites, and some german christmas markets was a blessing.