So last night I did something I'd been meaning to do for a few months now. I headed over to meet up with the local Emergent cohort.
For those unfamiliar with this, groups of people sympathetic to the emerging/Emergent church conversation set themselves up in local clusters called "cohorts" to talk and have fellowship together.
Last night's discussion centered around words used in church circles that may be out of place or that have been overused or misunderstood. The word our leader came with to kick off the discussion was "excellence." I shared that the word "excellence" belies a certain idea of the church's meaning or purpose, namely that we (whoever we are) are presenting a product to you (whoever you are) and we want to achieve excellence in presenting it. What this model neglects is a more communal idea of the church where we are in mutual relationship rather than some being presenters and others being consumers.
Other words/phrases we talked about were "missional," "emerging," "accountability," and the one I brought up, "go to church." In fact, I'm using Peter's misunderstanding of the transfiguration to rag on that phrase in a couple weeks. More on that later.
I had a great time connecting with other local emerging types, one of whom, incidentally, was Jeff Greathouse, whom I've blog-known for quite a while now. What I appreciated the most about this group is that it wasn't a bunch of pastors. It was a good mix of pastors, a university administrator, a couple house church members. I told them as much that I liked the mix. I fit right in, too. I thought I'd spend most of the time feeling things out and getting comfortable, but I ended up jumping in with both feet.
I even learned a little more about the difference between the Church of Christ and the UNITED CHURCH.................................of Christ. Did you know that fellowship halls are evil? Me neither.
So all in all, a good time. I look forward to future meetings with this group, as it really fed my soul.