hipster—what’s up with that? in general this is a trend in the emergence. what about those of us who are not hipster and attempting to bring emergence to rural ministry, who says it’s “just for educated hipsters” I counter that this “emergence” needs to be everywhere or else it will not emerge. a sort of “duh” moment. but when will we stop trying to imitate all these other churches and listen to our own church? our own location. that is what most emergent churches have done. often the difference is that they have chosen their location. they knew what they were looking for when they began or trusted the path would become clear.
what about those of us “placed” in staid places? we need to break through the crusted layers that keep Spirit out. peel those layers and Diana Butler Bass would have us help them remember who they were when they began—the good and the bad, put it in context with the Church, and then know where to go.
this can be difficult because when people are comfortable there is no need to peel back layers “that might hurt”. pastors need to be brave to do this. churches need to be ready to not worry about growth for a while, not numbered growth but spiritual growth. can the conference handle that? can our churches handle that?
some days I think I’d be up for working a full or part time job in order to have a church like this. but that means not making a new church, not making it easy. not that making a new church is easy—it’s not but it’s another challenge, another grape, another grapefruit. it’s transformation. are we ready for transformation and rebirth? let’s stop birthing new and start growing down (thank you Alyce Barrywood for that!). can the conference handle that?
I don’t want to go anywhere other than where I am. but I want to be a part of transforming this place, these 2 small churches. that’s what God is calling me to in this minute and I have resisted it. I’ve been afraid to be honest about what I’m here to do. I’ve been afraid if I said it out loud that they wouldn’t want me anymore.
but I think that’s what the churches want as well, to experience Christ in their lives as churches, as people, as a family of faith, and as individuals. I think these churches want real transformation. it’s scary though because we want to have enough money to make it, to pay the bills, we want to meet those standards set before us so the conference won’t move us, close us down. fear, not faith have guided us this far. I think I’m finding my faith again. will you come with me?