DJ Chuang is collecting various models of emerging churches that are often quoted and referred to. That includes models given by Ed Stetzer, Scot McKnight, Justin Taylor, Mark Driscoll, and more recently from C. Wess Daniels and Darren Patrick and others.
No one has ever quoted mine because no one has ever read it, at least not in the last 8 years. It was never published online, only in a Leadership Network magazine called Next Generation. I post it here, introducing it to the internet audience as a blast from the past and also as way for Creatives to understand the various models of emerging church without resorting to reductionist labels or alliterated cheese. I have added some images but left the text intact, despite the choppy writing and embarrassingly sarcastic flavor.
Disclaimer: Back in 1999 when this was written, I had just traveled for two years in a Winnebago with my family around the USA. We had left our home in San Francisco in 1998 to hit the road and I shifted my employment from the California Baptist Association to becoming a Consultant for the Baptist General Convention of Texas. They let us travel as missionaries to the emerging culture and some of that time was hosting conferences with a group called Young Leaders (which later became Emergent, after we had left for Europe). But in the two years of travel around USA, we went to every state (except North and South Dakota) to identify and support new church movements among the emerging postmodern subculture. Not just Baptist churches, but all stripes and colors. In 2000 we shifted our base of operation to Europe. So these models are from our American experience. I would NOT use them to describe the European emerging church scene.
"Postmodern" was the word we were using back then and obviously, I would not choose this word in 2008. Nor would I be so annoyingly ironic. I think over the past 8 years, and through many toils and snares, I have matured from a sarcastic smart-alec punk to a much more refined smart-alec punk. So please give me a break when you read this. Also, Jason from Young Leaders asked me to write a particularly provocative article for the magazine Next Generation. Thus, my overview of the American scene with some very sharp rib-pokes towards "posers" and a deconstruction of the deconstruction we were suggesting.
Anyway, its tongue in cheek and not to be taken too seriously. What I find interesting, however, is how similar other models from today's emerging church measure up to these five categories. And without further ado, dear bloggers and emerging church critics, I give you a blast from the past.
Postmodern Church Time Capsule,
by Andrew Jones. Dec 31, 1999. San Francisco
Is your church postmodern? This was The Question evangelical churches were asking themselves as the 1990s came to a close. Included in this time capsule is my brief snapshot of 5 models of churches going under the postmodern label at the turn of the new Century. I have likened them to gardens because . . . well, it's fun.
1. Big like a Miracle-Gro Garden
ntimidation through size is a great deterrent to criticism. Yet there are some steroid-ridden youth churches whose mandate is "Xtreme growth" and a head count that matches the Midian army, even at the expense of other churches.
a highly-strung, well-financed youth group becomes a stage production that becomes their fathers' church.
Not really. More like hypermodern with candles. They are unwilling to topple the pillars of modernity lest the whole building collapse on their head, as it did with Samson.