State of the Blogosphere 2008
Now that we have stopped emerging . . .

Emerging Church: The demise of the term since 2004

For those geeky church historians tracking the huge discussion on the death of the emerging church label, here is a little timeline of its demise from my humble and subjective point of view:

2004- My post entitled When We Stop Emerging stimulated some excellent discussion in the comments regarding the death of the name.

2004 - At the Epicentre Roundtable for Global Emerging Church, that I hosted at Greenbelt Festival, I asked if we should keep using the term "emerging church" or dump it. While a few people suggested the name was problematic, we decided it was still good.

2006- At the Global Roundtable for Emerging Church leaders at Freakstock, Germany, where we gathered 70 leaders from 27 countries, I also asked the question about keeping it or dumping it and even though the Jesus Freaks in Germany did not use the term,[they preferred simply 'church'] we said it was OK.

2008 - In January, Kester Brewin predicts "the collapse of the emerging church as a popular project" during 2008.

2008 - I get asked if "The Emerging Church Fund" would be a good term to use for launching a new fund supporting those working around the world in the emerging culture.

So I ask my readers . .

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2008 - In August, I take a poll on my blog in which 60% of my readers suggested we dump the term "emerging church"

2008 - In September, a post in Christianity Today's Out of Ur highlights my poll and Dan Kimball's post on not using the term. Dan points to Bob Hyatt who in 2005 was recommending a name change for Emergent Village because they were "constantly getting confused with the emerging church as a whole."

2008 - Current. So I am advising the mission and denominational organizations that I consult to use a name that has less baggage.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot more discussion:

- Scot McKnight looks at his experience with the term in Emerging and Emergent
- Jason Clark approaches it from a Vineyard perspective in Beyond the Emerging Church?
- Brother Maynard launches a beat poet discussion with Emerge-ed

- Tony Jones thinks the whole conversation is "silly" and . . .

he is probably right!

But still, some of us find it quite interesting.

And can I add that around the world, there are movements and networks still using the name emerging church, as well as excellent websites with that domain name and title and so . . puhleeeze . . give them a break. Its just a term. Lets get on with the job and let people call it what they want.