I actually believe our former pastor may mention our names at least in an elder meeting. Because one of us was overheard talking about the church, I just wonder what will come of it? During the call, my husband shared that he cannot possibly stop telling people who ask why we left the church honestly what he thinks. The pastor then said something like, “so likewise, I can share about you spreading rumors and saying things we don’t agree with.” My husband said he didn’t care what they say. It may have not been that harsh, really, from the pastor. It was what I thought my husband said, but it was along those lines. At any rate, I wonder if there will be some sort of larger group that will hear about this? At any rate, it is what it is.
I don’t believe we ever said the former church was 100% emergent. I do believe we said there were emergent phrases and authors popping up in sermons, and that the youth camp was emergent. The type of prayer has been mentioned as a problem to pastors, one even contacted the youth camp to get the example of prayer off the web site stating it’s not Biblical. Last time I checked, it’s still there. The pastor told my husband about Noomas being shown to the youth…and this was not something we’d ever heard. It was in the context of, “I thought we agreed to be discreed about [minister X] and the Noomas.” Huh. So, though it wasn’t my husband who had this discussion, and I don’t recall us talking about minister X, someone has AND at least one Nooma has been shown to youth somewhere, somehow through this church. Yet there is denial of emergent creeping in? The pastor still was frustrated that we made connections based on who was quoted in sermons. Okay, truthfully, it wasn’t just quotes. A sermon was framed right from Donald Miller’s stuff. I heard a podcast and the idea came directly from the podcast of Miller’s. Even if only one pastor on staff was saying this stuff, it shows he is into emergent teaching and he promoted it right from the pulpit. To NOT address this is wrong. So, yeah, since that pastor is still on staff, there is an emergent element in our former church.
One thing that has been true of our former church is they have been on the Warren P.E.A.C.E. plan. So, I guess we can call them what? Seeker friendly? The pastors all read Dallas Willard and many recommended his works to me to read. So, we can call the church what? Contemplative/Spiritual Formation influenced? The church itself uses terms like “Bible based” and “Missional.” So, it’s an emergent/contemplative/Spirtual Formation/Missional/Bible influence church. ECSFMBIC
Of course, we’re supposed to never say this church is emergent because that movement is dying, according to what the former pastor said. Huh. Bet there was a day when someone thought the Mormon church was dying too when it was in it’s early years. Of course, renaming yourself or infiltrating churches through the back door, and many times through the front, doesn’t make you a “church” so much as it makes the churches you. But, no, pastor…it’s not dying. It’s doing what it has been made to do, it’s evolving.