Emerging Worship: A Meandering Email
So, I have gotten lots of response from my article, "Why We Are Losing Ground..." One of the emails I received was from a pastor who is committed to reaching this generation and asked for my thoughts. Below you will find the email I sent him. I hope it helps you think about things in a whole new way as well. If nothing else, there is a great reading list at the bottom!
The good news that you realize you don't know everything. The biggest obstacle I run into is the "it worked before" syndrome of successful pastors. The willingness to engage in a completely new visioning process is a healthy place to be.
Secondly, if you have "googled" me you realize my strong evangelical commitments. I hope you don't think I was advocating abandoning Scripture an any form. I am a strong Wesleyan believing in the primacy of Scripture. But I also am committed to social action, for as Wesley observed, you can't hear gospel if your stomach is growling (that the Marty version of course).
I might suggest you gather those committed young adults and spend 6 weeks working through the Catalyst Groupzine on Culture (http://www.catalystspace.com/resources/groupzines.aspx). It has some serious discussion and reflection questions. You might also visit Mars Hill Church (Rob Bell) or Imageo Dei Church in Seattle to see how some pastors are connecting with their indigenous young adults.
In my dream world, were I to be given another chance to plant another church (my last one was cool, hip, emerging and not financially viable...lol) I would consider a private/public partnership by starting a fair trade (social justice) coffee house that hosts artists and Christian conversation and also hosted worship every Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The coffee shop could cover operating expenses and the congregation would be free to pour their time and talents into mission.
These are the meanderings of a would be post-modern prophet with a heart for evangelism and mission. I hope I answered some of your questions. I included a reading list below that will be far more helpful that my above comments. I'd be happy to come and help you engage a visioning process if you like. Until we meet, I remain:
Consumed by the Call,
Reverend Marty J. Cauley, Director
Some suggested reading:
Kimbrall, Dan. Emerging Worship
Kimbrall, Dan. They Love Jesus but Don't Like the Church
Cunningham, Sarah. Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation
Kinnaman, David and Gabe Lyons. UnChristian.
Frost, Michael and Alan Hirsch. The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century.
Gruder, Darell L. The Continuing Conversion of the Church. Eerdmans, 2000.
Hirsch, Alan. The ForgottenWays: Reactivating the Missional Church. Brazos Press, 2006.
Roxburgh, Alan J. and Fred Romanuk. The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World.
Setzer, Ed. Planting Missional Churches. B&H Publishing Group, 2006.