- casual dress (particularly for men)
- use of visuals (starting with drama & slide shows, moving to the use of video & PowerPoint)
- focus on topical preaching/teaching
- emphasis on small groups rather than Sunday School
- removal of small children from some or all of the service
- de-emphasizing the offering (to counteract perception that "all churches care about is getting my money")
- less use of hymns & a corresponding change in musical style
- careful de-churching of language (to make the Gospel more understandable)
- my generation does not believe the government will take care of us - I'm currently paying my dad's social security with my SS payments - the system is going to break down & I'll be the one left holding the empty bag
- my life is not necessarily going to be better than my parent's life (interestingly, I just read some survey work that indicates I was correct - the GenXers will be the first generation in U.S. history whose income - adjusted for inflation - has fallen in regards to the previous generation)
- my generation was the first generation to live in the world of no-fault (ha!) divorce - we are the original latch-key kids... and even if our folks didn't get divorced, we watched the emotional bombs go off in the families of our friends
- It's long-term... he's been doing this stuff long before most of us even dreamed about it
- It's global... as a New Zealander who was trained in the U.S. and now lives in , he sees the whole "emerging church movement" in a completely different way than I (or most of us in the U.S.) do
- "traditional" - the same thing we've been doing for the last 50 years
- "contemporary" - we changed the music (sold the organ & do more praise choruses), but otherwise the service is pretty much the same
NewLife @ Night is definitely NOT a "contemporary" service.
Words: "Emergent" and "Emerging"
Words: "Experiential"In many churches, you're pretty much a spectator at a worship service with three major exceptions:
- church gymnastics (sit, stand, kneel, walk the aisle, etc.)
- congregational singing (meaning the part where the guy up front urges us to sing as opposed to the music performed by the band or choir)
- giving (putting money in the plate/basket/pouch/bucket /whatever as it goes by)
Well, it's Southern Baptist Convention week, which means I have some prayer requests. (Note for those non-Southern Baptists playing along at home - Southern Baptist churches are autonomous local bodies who may choose to send represenatives to the SBC meeting each June. A number of decisions are made in business sessions, but the stuff that occupies the most column inches in the national media are the non-binding resolutions, which are primarily about current issues.)
- God, please don't let them vote on and/or discuss resolutions that don't reflect the truth of the Bible AND an awareness that the media is just waiting for us to do something silly.
- God, please draw the Convention together around what You've done for us rather than what we can figure out for ourselves.
- God, please make me & my ministry cool... or at least more cutting-edge than most...