Is Emergent Fussy?
I just finished reading the latest version of Charlie Wear Nextzine magazine. It's always sincere and insightful about issues in and about the emerging church. But in this issue there was a noticeable tone of fussiness. It's that conflicted tone of "love-the-church, hate-the-church". I get it, I really do, that there is lot in the local, building-bound, denominationally nested, multi-generational church that is not cool. In fact, it seems that the fussiness I pick up on is more of an esthetic fussiness that spiritual fussiness. The trappings of the local church, I characturized above, is just so normal, almost boring: committee meetings, budgets, employees, maintenance, garbage collection, bulletins and paper newsletters, coffee-makers and kitchen coordinators. It's really more like a Ford mini-van than a Mini-Cooper. The problem with the Mini-Cooper type of church is that it is too small, tight and exclusive.
I made the mistake of accepting an invitation several years ago to a reception at one of the newest and coolest emerging churches in the area. It would have music, an art gallery and wine and cheese (in the church...how cool is that?) Unfortunately I was coming from some other meeting or service where I was wearing a suit and tie. When I walked in I got the 100 yard stare from the black-clothed members and friends of the church. Clearly I did not get the memo on dressing cool for the night. I got looked at seriously, but never greeted. As I wandered from room to room, looking for my one friend there, I realize that I did not fit here.My thinning grey hair and white shirt and tie put me in a another category all together. It all seemed a bit too fussy, and maybe still is.