Emerging Church – From Protest to Proclamation

Modern Reformation - The Emerging ChurchModern Reformation’s latest issues focuses on the Emerging Church. ( FAITH A LA CARTE? T H E E M E R G E N T C H U R C H). I found it interesting that D.A Carson’s article, The Emerging Church, cited ‘Protest’ first as to what characterizes the movement. I would have to agree. As I’ve been involved in three church plants personally and a handful of others through relationship often the distinguishing mark is a protest. The preachers typically begin as a reaction against what they’ve experienced. (Sadly, some react from one error to the extreme other side, which is also an error.)

Kaleo made a transition 6-9 months ago from critique, protest and reaction toward a position of wanting to positively lead people. We came up with a (dreaded for some) mission statement:

Kaleo exists to delight in God above all else, to exalt His name among all people, for His glory through Jesus Christ

More important that a mission statement was an attitude shift of ‘let’s stop tearing down what we are against and start building up what we are for’. This shift has radically altered the DNA of our church. More people are getting involved (we doubled in size in the last 6 months), more people are dying to themselves not out of false duty but desire and their is a renewed desire to be the Kingdom of God. There are so many other positive implications that I could list but I wanted to throw this out there for any church planter to consider. Don’t just be marked by protest but be known by what you proclaim with your life.

  • Robb

    July 18, 2005, 7:15 pm

    good to hear. i randomly stumbled across your site. hope all is well with you.

  • David

    July 18, 2005, 11:09 pm

    I see your point on proclaim versus protest. I think there is more than protest going on both in the motivation and fruit of the what’s good in the emergent church movement. Did Jesus protest?

    Did you hear about the PBS show and coverage on Emergent? They interviewed both sides, including DA Carson.


  • Michael

    July 22, 2005, 12:18 pm

    I’ve noticed two paths of reformation beginning to form in the Western Church –

    1. Willow Creek Style Churches: Seeker Sensitive – focus is on fitting in with western social trends to attract visitors, then present the Gospel.

    2. IHOP (international house of prayer) Style: Spiritually Sensitive – focus on praying scripture vocally, worship, contemlation in order to attract God’s manifested presence, then colabor with God in revival.

    The two paths are not converging. There is a split opening up that may not be noticeable now, but will become massive soon. The Willow Creeks and the House’s of Prayer are springing up all over the nation at an fast rate. I don’t see this as conflicting, but definately two going in different directions. Both are dropping traditional denominational style programs like a hot rock. I’m biased towards the House of Prayer reformation – especially with it’s intense focus on the first commandment.

  • D. Goodmanson

    July 25, 2005, 4:44 pm


    I don’t see these as two primary emerging paths. In the emerging community I think you have people who are ’emerging’ in form (style, methods) and those who want to emerge in principle (meaning, truth). These are the major paths I see.