Friday, January 25, 2008

Meeting up with "an Emergent cohort for the Capital District of NY" cohorts

I recently met up with fellow church planter John Martinez for lunch at Lynn's Uptown Tavern, his favorite Albany lunch spot. Great little spot, by the way. If you're looking for a decent meal and are in the area, I would encourage you to check this place out...nothing spectacular, just a quaint atmosphere and good food and people.

John has started a new church out of his home in the suburbs of Albany, with the goal being to move to a space that is more condusive to church growth. His new church is called, "The Distillery Church."He describes it as an organic/emerging church.

I have been hearing and learning so much about the emerging/organic church and just couldn't turn down John's invitaion to join him and a few of his friends for an informal discussion on these very topics. They meet weekly at a nearby diner. It was great time of discussion and learning from one another. Along with John and myself, Curtis Klope and Scott Cogan were in attendance.The group is led by Curtis, a man who, like the rest of us, is simply exploring the new questions that are surfacing as we seek to plant churches in our respective communities.

It is good for me to know that others are wrestling with these new terms. What exactly do they mean? How do they apply to us? What about the other new buzz words; missional, incarnational, culturally relevant, apostolic, etc.

As we sat around the table at the 76 Diner, we all shared our own thoughts on these terms.We talked about some of the leading thinkers who are writing and teaching on these subjects; Alan Hirsch, Brian McClaren, Ed Stetzer, Erwin Mcmanus, Mark Driscoll, Doug Pagitt, etc.

Many questions, both deep and not so deep, were tossed around. There was a level of honesty and openness in our round table discussion that I haven't experienced in a long time. No question was tossed out. Some would be considered by evangelicals to be risky, even bordering on heretical. However, these were all questions that many church planters are grappling with in our day. We are all simply trying to get a handle on this emerging movement that is sweeping around the world, while attempting to plant churches in the communities God has sent us to.

I'm looking forward to futured discussions with my new emerging cohorts.