interesting article. i'm not saying it's a complete article....

The new "emerging churches" "From the Jesus movement to the Jesus tradition" by Robert Webber. Worship Leader, May/Jun 2003 (Vol 12, No 3). Pages 10+. Topic: MOVEMENTS, CHRISTIAN ---- A generation of believers is weary. They're tired of megachurches and congregations known for their business principles, marketing techniques, and entertainment. Members of today's youthful "emerging churches" movement want to belong, believe, and behave in a way that's reminiscent of the countercultural Jesus tradition of the New Testament church. ††††††First, we had the Jesus Movement of the '70s, which suffered numerous shortcomings. Because of its fast growth, new believers were inadequately discipled and often didn't experience the sense of belonging to a caring community. Also, their lack of training in spiritual warfare and doctrine kept them from understanding the foundation of their newfound faith. ††††††In contrast, modern "emerging churches" are patterning themselves after the early believers and their desires to share a common lifestyle, faith, and behavior. Indeed, the New Testament church pursued a sense of belonging by worshiping, eating, working, living, and sharing together communally. Similarly, today's young evangelicals meet in small numbers in homes, restaurants, pizza places, and at coffeehouses. Their congregations number only 30 to 50 people, and their yearning is to pour money aggressively into needy people--rather than into buildings. ††††††The importance of discipleship and a growing, knowledgeable faith was also important to first-century Christians. Likewise, "emerging church" Christians recognize the central significance of spiritual formation and understand that new believers cannot become grounded in their Christianity overnight. Also, when early church Jewish people became Christians, they brought with them their Old Testament ethics. Gentiles, however, had to learn a new system of behavior so that they could live in a Christ-honoring way. In the same way, this young movement realizes the need to teach new Christians godly, Christlike behavior. ††††††Hopefully, this new movement will survive, grow, and prevail in a culture eerily resembling the relativistic Rome of the first century.


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