This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
George asked what the emerging church is doing better than the traditional church. Alan Creech answers much better than I could:
I've also read a little in blogdom and heard a little talk lately about the term "emerging," referring to the emerging church. Also used is the term "emergent" as well as "postmodern" – wow. Are you still really using the term postmodern a good deal? Seriously. Anyway, I don't really give a damn what you call it – it's not that important. I just know what I am doing (yes, DOING) and what I've been tracking with and seeing happen all over the world. There are different phenomena out there – it's not all the same. This doesn't equal that doesn't equal that over there. Generally, and this is brief surface scratching here, the term postmodern church, as I see it, refers to churches that tend to keep many of the same trappings as ever: buildings, budgets, staff ministers, sermons in front of silent audiences, a "come to church" mentality, programatic "ministry," etc. Only this – they do it cooler. They have cool haircuts and cool worship songs and the setting of the same old stuff is just plain cool. I suppose that'…. never mind – I just don't think that's very helpful. Root causes are not being addressed. Problems that cripple the Body are left untouched really, covered with makeup and band-aids… The question for me and for many church planters – people who have jumped out of the boat to find another island – are doing is trying to get to the heart of the matter – what IS the church? Why is it here? All the answers we have EVER been given are on the chopping block – they won't do simply because they are there… If you die that death, allow God to slowly resurrect you, and then end up with a building – awesome!! But DO NOT simply refuse to question whether or not it is legitimate to have a building as a "church"! Don't do that. Don't simply refuse to question paid staff ministry because "that's all I was ever trained to do" and you're afraid you won't be able to support your family – DON'T do that! Wow! We can't get past the front door to see the street! It's NOT about models or labels or styles of worship – crap, crap! It's about busting it all down because it really, really has not worked very well – a good deal of it – and allowing God to rebuild it – ALL of it – for us, through us, in us. So, doing it the same old way with new garb on is not going to cut it. Not allowing yourself to question pretty much everything because of fear will not get it done. This is it. This is what is "emerging." I'm sure other things are too, but this is what I'm seeing and hearing and doing – trying to do.
Read the whole thing. It's excellent. Alan is right on.