Perhaps the question I receive most from church leaders is how to connect the insights of emerging churches to the challenges facing denominational churches. Most of the US stories in our book Emerging Churches deal with new church plants and so existing denominational leaders desire examples closer to their own tradition. When we had the opportunity to host an issue of Fuller Seminary’s theological journal, Theology News and Notes, we decided to address that very question. We titled the issue “Emerging Churches within Denominational Structures,” and we focused primarily on US churches. Spanning nine articles and twenty-seven pages, the current issue features nine leaders who create alternative expressions of faith within traditional church structures. These change agents embody transformation while working within their particular faith tradition. Here are the titles of the articles:
Eddie Gibbs and I wrote The Morphing of the Church;
Walt Kallestad, Lutheran pastor, Community Church of Joy, wrote Redefining Success, Moving from Entertainment to Worship;
Ryan Bell, pastor, Hollywood Seventh Day Adventist, wrote From the Margins: Engaging Missional LIfe in the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church;
Nadia Bolz-Weber, mission developer of a Lutheran church plant in Denver, “House for all Sinners and Saints”, wrote Confessions of a Sarcastic Lutheran;
Troy Bronsink, PCUSA pastor and community organizer in inner-city Atlanta, wrote Of Dying Breeds and Swelling Hopes: A Mainline Emergent in the Reformed Tradition;
Eugene Cho, pastor of Quest, Seattle, wrote Quest and Its Relationship with the Evangelical Covenant Church;
Phil Jackson, pastor of The House in Chicago, wrote A Reciprocal Connection: The Surprising Convergence of Hip-Hop and the ECC;
David Fitch, pastor of “Life on the Vine”, in outlying Chicago, wrote On Being an Emerging Christian in the Christian and Missionary Alliance;
Liz Rios, founder for Center for Emerging Female Leaership, and Luis Alvarez, pastor in the AG, wrote Will a New Church Emerge? Las Raices in the Assemblies of God.
You can read all the articles online. Or you could email Fuller and they would happy to send you a snail mail version free. We believe these articles demonstrate that great creativity and vitality are possible (but not inevitable) within enduring traditions.