Brokenhearted Theology, Contemp Culture, MP520, Ramblings

MP520 – Tuesday Class Reflection, Week 4 (emerging churches and ethnicity)

“A church should look like its ZIP code” (Karen Ward)

In class on Tuesday we got a bit of an intro to the concept of “Missio Dei” (Mission of God), how emerging churches have understood that phrase, and how it has begun to change how they ‘do church’ or ‘be church.’  It was a really interesting conversation, especially given Ryan Bolger’s research/writing on the subject. 

One question came to my mind during the discussion involving the emerging church and ethnic diversity.  I think I’m okay with a church “looking like it’s ZIP code” in ethnicity, but if the American emerging church is truly doing something new and important for the life of the Western church, how is it represented  in ethnic (non-white) churches and communities?  Anyone have any thoughts/experiences on this topic?


2 thoughts on “MP520 – Tuesday Class Reflection, Week 4 (emerging churches and ethnicity)

  1. I was talking both about “Emergent” and “emerging” churches, both which have been characterized/noted to be mostly middle class white guys.

    I talked with my prof, Ryan Bolger, about it today after class, and he said that it is ture that emerging churches tend to fit that particular classification system, mainly because of where emerging churches are coming from. They are products of evangelical megachurches, or church within a church model (like a 20 somethings service at a larger church), both concepts/models/backgrounds that are often associated with white guys. So, in that sense, it’s understandable that (e)(E)merg(ent)(ing) churches are mosty are white middle class guys.

    He did note that in all his research, these churches are very aware of their lack of diversity, and acknowledge that they want to move more towards inter-ethnic communities. These churches also know that the theology that they are embracing isn’t all that new to ethnically diverse congregations, where liberation theology and Kingdom of God/redemption language isn’t has been the mainstay of their preaching/teaching for many years (us Evangelicals are just a little slow to jump on the bandwagon).

    So…that’s the insight I gained from Ryan today…helps me to understand better what role Emergent/emerging plays in the bigger conversation about what God is doing here on Earth.


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