Sounds like a bumper sticker and i pray we never see it in a Christian Bookstore. I am just repeating something i said a few minutes ago. Here is the thought, and i offer it for your perusal, beta-testing and fodder for derision, should i prove to be out of the ballpark.
If there were stages in the evolutionary process for new churches, then i propose these three words, all of which were used in the comments section of a previous blog posting this week (When We Stop Emerging), and all summed up in my final comment..
It might look like this:
1. Emergence - as the new [church] is birthed, takes shape and defines itself against the old, dead or dying.
2. Divergence - as the new [church] defines itself in relation to the One/Established/Dominant, caresses the edges of culture to find justice and to realign previous imbalances.
3. Convergence - as the new [church] finds its place alongside the residual, finds definition by comparison rather than contrast, seeks to aggregate rather than agitate, harmonize rather than homogenise, and to create vocabulary not for itself but rather for the newly-created, holistic, complex system of church-life that has developed around and including what was previously called emerging.
That sounds really geeky and processed, and the order might look different once we think more about it . . .
[divergence, then emergence, then convergence]
hey - this sounds better. You see! I have changed my mind already. Maybe some of you concept geeks out there could prevent an old man embarrassing himself further by playing out these three concepts and and sending them back to me with less bugs.
Image lifted with thanks.