stetzer on the emerging church

January 6, 2006 | 8 Comments

Steve McCoy has posted a link to an article by Ed Stetzer entitled Understanding the emerging church.

There has been a lot of attention thrown toward the idea of emerging churches in this past year, much of it negative. It almost seems that anyone trying to do church differently than Willow Creek (Axis not included) or Saddleback is categorized as emerging. This is obviously way too broad of a categorization and shows why even trying to create categories can sometimes be dangerous.

We’ve also seen attempts of late to show that Emergent itself is not the whole of the emerging church movement. I’m thankful to see Stetzer trying to shape some understanding of the different streams of thought.

In spite of what I said about the danger of categories above, I find this article to be somewhat helpful. I think his breakdown lines up with some of my own evaluation of the different strands of the emerging church. For what it’s worth, I find his ‘reconstructionist’ category a fairly suitable description of some of my own leanings.

  • I don’t use the emergent title, personally.

    I really like “incarnational-missional” – from the shaping of things to come, personally. It’s not very catchy, though. 😀

  • I tend to avoid it as well, because I think it has become so broad of a term that it doesn’t define much. I too prefer the term missional, although that is becoming a broad term as well as the meaning is being diluted. I guess that was the source of my appreciation for the article — he is at least acknowledging how broad the term emerging really is.

  • Although categories are anything but fun to ‘fall into’ I must ask the question…what category(ies)does mr. john chandler fall into?


  • John would be a Reconstructionist, while I would be a Relevant. It’s why we dislike each other so much and can’t get along.

  • I’m just upset that he used the word “blogosphere.”

  • Dean, I usually get along with you pretty well. It’s your need for defining categories and your superior attitude about your own that usually causes the conflict. 😉

  • Erin


    Thanks for you input and for the link to the Baptist Press site. Goods thoughts. I have nothing more to say.