Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Leadership Allows and Empowers Emergent Ministries

Monroe county

Most, hopefully all, ministry activity in my church family is emergent ministry. What is that?

In philosophy, "emergent entities (properties or substances) ‘arise’ out of more fundamental entities and yet are ‘novel’ or ‘irreducible’ with respect to them." (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Emergent Properties")

Emergent ministries arise out of corporate and individual abiding in Christ.

"Entirely new properties and behaviors "emerge," with no one directing and no one able to foresee the new characteristics from knowledge of the constituents alone." (From here.)

Emergent ministries display new properties that arise from the whole, but cannot be reduced to the whole.

I see this happening at Redeemer. Out of the community arises fresh fruit, new things, that God is doing. "Behold," declares the Lord, "I am doing a new thing." 

New things are not fully reducible to old things. New things bring change. For many in the Church, change is threatening. People become prisoners of what A. W. Tozer called "the dictatorship of the routine." The 7 last words of the church kick in: We've never done it that way before.

Spirit-led leaders expect and encourage emergent ministries. They know that newness implies "different."