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Help With Name and Slogan for new Church Plant (VANITY)
N/A | 7/8/04 | A2J

Posted on 07/08/2004 11:21:45 PM PDT by A2J

We are in the process of planning a new church plant in the eastern Tennesse/western North Carolina area in the near future.

Our target group will be young families with children and youth (i.e., teens), as well as the 18 - 35 age group, known as the "emerging church."

If you are already familiar with the emerging church generation, then you know that they are basically resistant to the status quo of what has wrongly been called "church" (i.e., heirarchial structure organizations, non-relational, etc.) and instead are looking for real, authentic truth and relationships.

What I am asking of you are ideas for a name that will appeal to that younger crowd. We really don't want something with the word "church" in it but rather more of a description of what the Christian life is all about. For example, we are currently looking at descriptive names such as "The Quest" and "The Journey," both signifying that our life is a quest or journey of faith that will ultimately end in heaven. Our focus will be on encouraging an environment where life-long relationships can be created that will help each of us on our personal and corporate walk of faith.

Also, if you could include some ideas for a slogan as well, that would be a great help.

Thanks for all of your help. I have a great deal of respect for the FR crowd and look forward to seeing God's creativity at work.


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: church; name; new; plant; slogan
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1 posted on 07/08/2004 11:21:45 PM PDT by A2J
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To: A2J

"We really don't want something with the word "church" in it but rather more of a description of what the Christian life is all about."

Probably not what your fishing for, but this traditionalist Christian believes that "what the Christian life is all about" is....Jesus Christ. Call it "His Place" or "The Rock" or maybe even "The Way Home." Just hope you realize that unique names and catchy slogans may well get folks to walk in the door, and a nice band with contemporary praise music projected via Powerpoint may even get them to stay and drop money into the collection plate. But, think on this...Our Lord is watching. Unless the whole point of your "emerging church" is to lead people to redemption from sin and to salvation through Jesus Christ, you don't have to worry about being mistaken as a "church" no matter what you call yourselves.

In the advertising world, I believe it's referred to as "all sizzle and no steak." I don't mean to presume that that's what you folks are about. I've just witnessed entirely too much of this new age, universalist, "Church of What's Happenin' Now" nonsense passing for Christianity and tend to be suspicious of an organization that shys away from identifying itself as a church.


2 posted on 07/09/2004 12:36:37 AM PDT by torqemada ("Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!")
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To: A2J
It sounds like you are tring to trick these folks into something. A little music the right atmosphere and then slip them a little Jesus under the table when no one is watching. My advice would be to pray and see how the Lord would have you do this. Test the spirit too it sounds like the spirit of this present age that you are hearing from.
3 posted on 07/09/2004 1:05:37 AM PDT by kansas_goat_roper (GOAT ROPERS NEED LOVE TOO....UP AGAINST THE WALL REDNECK MOTHERS)
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To: A2J
How about "The Newfangled Chapel of Creative Theology".

Your slogan can be "We just make it up as we go".

4 posted on 07/09/2004 4:29:48 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: AAABEST

*****"How about "The Newfangled Chapel of Creative Theology".
Your slogan can be "We just make it up as we go".*****

That's good. I like that one!

I also like "A little music the right atmosphere and then slip them a little Jesus under the table when no one is watching."

I'm sure that A2J is sincere and wants to do God's will, in all seriousness; surely many people are turned off to "church", but then, they should aks themselves what voices they are listening to. There are many ministers who misinterpret what people are seeking and they tend to try to please them or appease them, thus, they patronize from the pulpit or in their message and the truth is sacrificed on the altar of church growth.


5 posted on 07/09/2004 5:13:48 AM PDT by Gotterdammerung
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To: Gotterdammerung

It was Billy Graham who once said "It is unnatural for Christianity to be popular"


6 posted on 07/09/2004 5:18:22 AM PDT by Gotterdammerung
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To: Gotterdammerung; AAABEST; xzins

There is a HUGH church outside of Louisville, KY that the locals refer to as "Six Flags over Jesus."


7 posted on 07/09/2004 7:06:15 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I'm going on vacation in 21 days...)
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To: Corin Stormhands
There is a HUGH church outside of Louisville, KY that the locals refer to as "Six Flags over Jesus."

Are you series?

8 posted on 07/09/2004 7:29:25 AM PDT by AAABEST (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: AAABEST

yep


9 posted on 07/09/2004 7:44:10 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I'm going on vacation in 21 days...)
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To: A2J; Religion Moderator; JockoManning

Hi A2J

Well, too bad the only replies so far are mostly folks criticizing you.

I commend you for having a heart for these young folks. Some of them have never heard the Name of Jesus except used as a curse. Some of them have parents and grandparents that never darkened the door of a church, so they have no clue that this is something that should be an important part of their life.

And it's been 32 years ago now, but the way I first heard about Jesus in a way that meant something to me personally was by reading a copy of "The Cross and the Switchblade" by Nicky Cruz ... which allowed me, as an unchurched teenager, to hear the Gospel (I was from the suburbs, though, so the whole gang-to-saved story was not similar to my own life) ... at that time, I was 14 years old, and I didn't DO anything about it such as pray to invite Him into my heart or start attending church, but for the first time I was aware of Who He was and *what* I could/should do to find my way to Him.

Then, I found saving faith, at the age of 16, by coming across a gospel tract, and praying the prayer on the back page. The change in my heart was real. I had committed my life to Christ. That was July 1974, thirty years ago (Thank You Lord!) and He is still my savior, He is still my Lord.

If I have any ideas for your endeavor, I will let you know.
God bless you!


10 posted on 07/09/2004 7:53:26 AM PDT by JockoManning
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To: torqemada
Probably not what your fishing for, but this traditionalist Christian believes that "what the Christian life is all about" is....Jesus Christ.

No disrespect intended, but being "traditional" (i.e., sold out to structures and heirarchial positions such as "pastor" or "bishop," etc.) is why the Church has been made irrelevant for the past 1,700 years. The Church stopped being an organism and became an institution the moment Constatine became a "christian."

Prior to that point in history, our tradition was one of "going and making disciples," although it changed to "us four and no more," as they hid inside walls that were put up between them and the world.

Call it "His Place" or "The Rock" or maybe even "The Way Home." Just hope you realize that unique names and catchy slogans may well get folks to walk in the door, and a nice band with contemporary praise music projected via Powerpoint may even get them to stay and drop money into the collection plate.

Thank you for the ideas, which are quite good. And I do share your frustration with the more modernistic view of "church," which appeared to focus more on aesthetics and the preaching of an "anointed speaker" where the congregants were herded in and told to sit down and keep their collective mouths shut (except to respond with "amens" when prompted by the speaker) like the dumb sheep they are (sarcasm mode on high) and be "fed" instead of being allowed to express their God-given gifts and ministries and thoughts and dreams and songs.

That's not a "church," that's a crutch.

By the way, I believe that the tithe is not a New Testament principle, as many believe today, but rather has become a funding source of the pastor's "vision," (codeword for "personal indulges").

But, think on this...Our Lord is watching.

Oh, I am all too aware that He is and that is why our heart is set the record straight as to what Church is really supposed to be: a community of believers sharing a common faith who, in the eyes of a dying world, openly express that faith through the love they have for one another, taking care of each other and deferring to the other; an environment where everyone is on level ground and where authority is based upon the adherence to truth and not position.

The reason that I'm too afraid to continue the misrepresentation of Him and His word is why I am compelled to do something "new" (although it's 2,000 years old) and receive the condemnation of many.

If Jesus would walk into your church today, would He be pleased at what He saw and heard? Or would He chase you all out of His presence with a whip?

Unless the whole point of your "emerging church" is to lead people to redemption from sin and to salvation through Jesus Christ, you don't have to worry about being mistaken as a "church" no matter what you call yourselves.

The ENTIRE point is to create an environment where God's people can become who they are called and gifted to become without the hindrances that we see in the manmade organizations we call "church," and where the world can actually see real love among God's people expressed through authentic relationships.

The bible says that Jesus was the exact representation of the Father's grace and truth (John 1:14, et al), a living testimony of the Father. What better "sermon" can one receive than to see it honestly and truthfully "fleshed out" among believers travelling on this road call "faith?"

In the advertising world, I believe it's referred to as "all sizzle and no steak." I don't mean to presume that that's what you folks are about. I've just witnessed entirely too much of this new age, universalist, "Church of What's Happenin' Now" nonsense passing for Christianity and tend to be suspicious of an organization that shys away from identifying itself as a church.

It is impossible for an organization to be truthfully realized as a church because an organization depends upon the structures of control, where people, the most precious things to God, are viewed as the means to an end. The biblical definition of church is when "two or three gather together" in the name of Jesus, where it is not a place one goes to but rather an opportunity for church to just "happen" the way it's supposed to.

Thanks again for your ideas and concerns. Please pray for us as we continue to seek His will and His way.

11 posted on 07/09/2004 9:23:46 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: kansas_goat_roper
It sounds like you are tring to trick these folks into something.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. On the flip side, the word "church" has done more to scare people away as a result of the factions and power plays that is all too often seen in the ORGANIZATIONs masquerading as church.

Our heart is to let people know from the beginning as to what we are: a safe place where they can come and be encouraged to become the person whom God has created them to be and not become some cog in a decaying machine called "church."

A little music the right atmosphere and then slip them a little Jesus under the table when no one is watching. My advice would be to pray and see how the Lord would have you do this. Test the spirit too it sounds like the spirit of this present age that you are hearing from.

Not a "little Jesus" but a LOT of Jesus as seen in His people expressing their love for Him and each other. Remember that Jesus said the proof that we are His is that the world will see our love for one another. The Early Church never once had to create some evangelistic program to reach out because the world watched them together and the care they showed for one another, which showed that they were different from the world. That's why there were people joining their ranks DAILY.

12 posted on 07/09/2004 9:31:54 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: AAABEST
How about "The Newfangled Chapel of Creative Theology".

Your slogan can be "We just make it up as we go".

LOL! That's really funny, especially the slogan.

Just a thought, though. What makes you think that the Early Church didn't "just make it up" as they went along? Because they didn't have leatherbound bibles on their pews or the thick book of hymns to sing together like robots, means that they LIVED the life instead of LEGISLATING the life through the edicts of people who placed themselves into positions of power.

The "creative theology" came along about 300 years after our Lord ascended to heaven when power became the god of their desire and walls began being raised.

We need to return to the old ways, the ancient ways of our faith to see what they had, which was simply life, and try to live accordingly.

13 posted on 07/09/2004 9:37:42 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: Gotterdammerung
I'm sure that A2J is sincere and wants to do God's will, in all seriousness;

Thank you. I can assure you that I am quite serious as this passion consumes virtually every waking thought of mine as to seeing the Church return to its roots and thus becoming a fantastic witness to the world again.

surely many people are turned off to "church", but then, they should aks themselves what voices they are listening to. There are many ministers who misinterpret what people are seeking and they tend to try to please them or appease them, thus, they patronize from the pulpit or in their message and the truth is sacrificed on the altar of church growth.

I believe the reason why church has become what it has is exactly the result of trying to appease people. However, the apostle Paul said that in order to reach people, we must find a common denominator, a reference point for a person to identify with, from which a relationship can be created that will, hopefully, result in that person coming to the Lord.

There is no doubt that, while the message of Christianity is eternal, the methods to introduce it to coming generations is not and that unless we understand that, we will continue to become more marginalized and impotent as we sit in our "houses of worship" and watch the world walk by.

14 posted on 07/09/2004 9:45:07 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: Gotterdammerung
It was Billy Graham who once said "It is unnatural for Christianity to be popular"

With all due respect to Mr. Graham, that is exactly what happened when Constatine became a "christian" and "christians" began meeting in buildings, safe from the persecution that caused it to explode in growth the previous 300 years.

It is fashionable now to be a "christian," especially seeing how everyone born in America is a "christian" by birth (/sarcasm).

The bible says that the early believers were held in very high esteem prior to their becoming comfortable and not obeying the command to "go."

15 posted on 07/09/2004 9:48:19 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: Corin Stormhands
There is a HUGH church outside of Louisville, KY that the locals refer to as "Six Flags over Jesus."

I believe that I know of the one you speak. That is NOT what we're talking about doing.

In order to be effective, the church must become small, small enough to be invited into the homes of people who would probably never attend a "Wal-Mart Church" service.

Just because something's big doesn't mean that God is in it.

16 posted on 07/09/2004 9:50:53 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: JockoManning
RE: #10

Thanks and please do pray for us.

17 posted on 07/09/2004 9:51:49 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: A2J

LOL, you'd probably hate my church. We sing a couple ancient hymns and listen respectfully while our pastor preaches (no "amens", even, we're too Presbyterian). No exciting programs or events or even Children's Church, though we've got Sunday School classes. Would not be a bit attractive to some unchurched type, I'd think. (And according to most demographics I, a college-age person, shouldn't like it either)

But for me, it's been what I need. Good solid preaching from the word of God. A refresher course in humility and reverence. I'm about to move and I'm afraid I'll cry, my first few Sundays away.

Maybe your outreach-church is a good idea. Maybe it'll reach the unchurched and unsaved. But once they are saved, is there going to be real meat, or just baby food, for them?

Anyway, I hope God blesses your endevours. May I pray for you?


18 posted on 07/09/2004 9:57:10 AM PDT by JenB (Colorado or Bust: 20 Days)
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To: A2J
I believe that I know of the one you speak. That is NOT what we're talking about doing.

I know. Didn't mean to offend. It was really just a side comment.

My church has about 3,000 members.

19 posted on 07/09/2004 9:59:21 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (I'm going on vacation in 21 days...)
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To: A2J

Heavenly Father, I lift before You the efforts of A2J and family to go into the world and preach the gospel. Please guide them, anoint them, protect them, and provide for them. By Your grace, may they bear good fruit for Your glory. In the Name above all Names, the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN.


20 posted on 07/09/2004 10:20:23 AM PDT by JockoManning
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To: A2J

******"when Constatine became a "christian" and "christians" began meeting in buildings, safe from the persecution that caused it to explode in growth the previous 300 years."******

What a wild generalization! Tradition is a bad word nowadays, as well as dignity, soberness, and maybe a little fear of God. What we have now in too many 'churches' is double-espresso in 'worship'. I tire of it all.

I've heard the Constantine explanation over and over again, as to the church going 'off the rails' and it doesn't really expain anything.

I for one believe God used Constantine.

Gotterdammerung


21 posted on 07/09/2004 10:26:00 AM PDT by Gotterdammerung
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To: A2J

A spiritual center is a phrase that will tell them about it without saying church. Perhaps mention spiritual learning.


22 posted on 07/09/2004 11:21:21 AM PDT by TBP
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To: A2J
No disrespect intended, but being "traditional" (i.e., sold out to structures and heirarchial positions such as "pastor" or "bishop," etc.) is why the Church has been made irrelevant for the past 1,700 years. The Church stopped being an organism and became an institution the moment Constatine became a "christian."

First, I strongly commend you for wanting to reach out to this new generation.

But I have to quickly add that your reading of history is exceedingly arrogant (not to mention wrong).

1. What makes you think buildings stop persecution?

2. "Irrelevant" churches don't generate present day persecution and the workd is full of it today. More believers were martyred in the 20th century than in all of the early church.

3. The irrelevant churches of the past 1700 years just evangelized the world. When you have done better, THEN you can criticize.

4. As to pastors and bishops (both biblical concepts), what authority do you have to junk the Word of God and re-organize? Hierarchy is God's idea. Read the pastoral epistles. Read the epistles of Ignatius.

5. If the church ceased being an organism, it failed, and Jesus promise with it (Matt 16;18). And, you think that *you* can change that?

Newberger

23 posted on 07/09/2004 11:44:17 AM PDT by newberger
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To: JenB
Anyway, I hope God blesses your endevours. May I pray for you?

Thank you and please.

24 posted on 07/09/2004 11:53:44 AM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: Gotterdammerung
What a wild generalization! Tradition is a bad word nowadays, as well as dignity, soberness, and maybe a little fear of God. What we have now in too many 'churches' is double-espresso in 'worship'. I tire of it all.

Tradition, as in the edicts and creation of men, is exactly what killed Jesus Christ. He stood as a direct threat to the control and manmande traditions of men. Believe me, I am not comparing myself to Christ, but it's amazing how defensive people who hold to the traditions of men become when something "new" (although it's really not) threatens their position or their status quo.

I've heard the Constantine explanation over and over again, as to the church going 'off the rails' and it doesn't really expain anything.

I for one believe God used Constantine.

I believe Constantine was a well-meaning individual who sought to force Christianity upon the citizens of his rule. Constantine's efforts on behalf of Christianity made it fashionable and easy to become a Christian, although biblical discipleship requires much more than most of us are willing to give today (and I'm not talking about money!).

Christianity is completely relational and best thrives when open dialogue and visible respect of each other is expressed. However, as we all know, relationships are many times ugly in the making but beautiful in its more mature stages. Relationships are better fostered and strengthened when trials and tribulations are endured, which is why Christianity flourished in the first 300 years of its existence.

Persecution spread Christianity around the known world. Instistutionalization, brought on by Constantine, stopped the spread of the gospel and led to the power struggles of those who deemed themselves in "control" of the flock.

25 posted on 07/09/2004 12:03:46 PM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: TBP
RE: #22

Thanks.

26 posted on 07/09/2004 12:05:23 PM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: A2J

I'm going to respond to my own post, hopefully even before you do.

I used words like "arrogant" but I'm certain that's not your intention. Postmodern, "emerging church" evangelicals are motivated, I'm sure by love and compassion for those who need Christ but they also think that meeting modern cultural "felt needs" is what people really need so that earlier Christians missed the boat.

Please don't be so hasty with your critique. When the present is allowed to trump the past you are in danger because in 30 - 50 years *this* will be the past and cultural trends will have changed.

In my own faith journey, I have found that the oldest churches (I am Orthodox, by conviction not birth) speak directly to the needs for relationships and spiritual integrity that EM Church folks are looking for. EM churches "experiment" with old things like icons and candles, etc but never with any conviction that previous generations had any spiritual reality.

We need to reach 21st century people not with contemporary changing fads but with time tested spiritual paths.

Newberger


27 posted on 07/09/2004 12:18:40 PM PDT by newberger
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To: A2J
Instistutionalization, brought on by Constantine, stopped the spread of the gospel and led to the power struggles of those who deemed themselves in "control" of the flock.

The church hasn't grown since Constantine?

Check history

28 posted on 07/09/2004 12:20:53 PM PDT by newberger
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To: A2J


"Christianity is completely relational and best thrives when open dialogue and visible respect of each other is expressed. However, as we all know, relationships are many times ugly in the making but beautiful in its more mature stages. Relationships are better fostered and strengthened when trials and tribulations are endured, which is why Christianity flourished in the first 300 years of its existence."*******

So...After the first 300 years, the church ceased to exist? Actually, according to history, well beyond the 4th Century, Christianity continued to fluorish througout Europe and other parts of the world, which is why it is still here today - as Christ promised.


29 posted on 07/09/2004 12:26:10 PM PDT by Gotterdammerung
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To: A2J
Constantine's efforts on behalf of Christianity made it fashionable and easy to become a Christian, although biblical discipleship requires much more than most of us are willing to give today (and I'm not talking about money!).

In the fourth century, one had to study for up to three years as a catechumen before being baptized. I don't think that qualifies as "easy".

Do you really believe that Christians in "institutional" churches don't practice serious discipleship? Visit an Orthodox church next year during Great Lent a few times. Or, for that matter, try during Advent.

30 posted on 07/09/2004 12:35:23 PM PDT by newberger
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To: newberger
I used words like "arrogant" but I'm certain that's not your intention. Postmodern, "emerging church" evangelicals are motivated, I'm sure by love and compassion for those who need Christ but they also think that meeting modern cultural "felt needs" is what people really need so that earlier Christians missed the boat.

My whole point is that modern Christians are the ones who have "missed the boat" by creating organized structures of control that have choked and hamstrung the Body of Christ because instead of every believer being encouraged to express his/her gifts and callings (and I'm not referring to serving the facility as ushers or cooks), they have become spectators instead of participators and co-laborers.

Pastors have been most guilty of this because of their need to remain "in charge," forgetting that Christ alone is the Head of His body and is well capable of leading His body where He desires it to go.

It was the first believers who had it all together, not what we think is "church" today.

Please don't be so hasty with your critique. When the present is allowed to trump the past you are in danger because in 30 - 50 years *this* will be the past and cultural trends will have changed.

Didn't Jesus trump the past practices of men by ushering in a present, radically new and different understanding of the kingdom of God? No more is there to be a handful of crusty old men in power, but the realization that every believer is a priest unto the Lord and is given responsibilities to minister as God leads him/her.

I have seen where those who are in more traditional, mainline (code word for "dying") institutions feel threatened by the so-called "emerging church," which (I admit appear strange and of which practices I don't agree with), have a certain bent for the eccentric, more emotional aspects of expressing their faith, but, instead of seeing the new generation as a threat, look at it as an encouraging and promising thing because it will force the Church to look to the past, the ancient past all the way back to the Day of Pentecost for answers and THE method of experiencing church.

In my own faith journey, I have found that the oldest churches (I am Orthodox, by conviction not birth) speak directly to the needs for relationships and spiritual integrity that EM Church folks are looking for. EM churches "experiment" with old things like icons and candles, etc but never with any conviction that previous generations had any spiritual reality.

Whether we like it or not, the new generation of people who are seeking a spiritual home are tired of the old (as in the modern era) because the old resembles the world, with its structures and command organizations in place that does not encourage relationship but ownership by a few elitist men.

As stated in an earlier post, the message of the Cross has never, will never and must never change, but the methods in which to share that message must change with the times. Otherwise, the institutionalized church will continue to be as irrelevant as ever.

We need to reach 21st century people not with contemporary changing fads but with time tested spiritual paths.

Paths that have created more disciples of the denominations from which they come rather than true disciples of Christ?

31 posted on 07/09/2004 4:38:50 PM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: newberger
In the fourth century, one had to study for up to three years as a catechumen before being baptized. I don't think that qualifies as "easy".

And what exactly was included in the catechism? I can tell you that when I was in the Catholic Church, the vast majority of what was taught was from a Catholic point of view and from a Catholic Bible. Is that really producing disciples of Christ?

As one who serves in what some may call a "pastoral role", I can tell you that protestants are no different, teaching their own denomination's doctrines and theology and not the Bible.

Do you really believe that Christians in "institutional" churches don't practice serious discipleship? Visit an Orthodox church next year during Great Lent a few times. Or, for that matter, try during Advent.

I am not saying that institutional churches are evil or wicked, but neither do they reflect the true nature of the Church because the church, prior to the third century was totally devoid of heirarchial structures and programs to "keep the sheep" from straying.

What I am saying is that God, in spite of, and not because of, institutionalized churches moves because there are people there. But that was/is not the original design or intent of God for His people to confine themselves within the four walls of a church and have paid "clergy" (a disgusting word) and "laymen" (another horrible term), effectively creating a class system among the Body of Christ.

But because we have been taught, or rather force-fed, the doctrines of men, we believe that "church" today is it, when it is not.

32 posted on 07/09/2004 4:47:02 PM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: A2J
All of the comments thus far make me wonder if I had left out the term "emerging church" or asked for names for a "church," I would be reading much different posts.

My intention is NOT to argue over whose church is the "right one," because there's only one that is and it's the Church of Jesus Christ, His universal body. Please, let's not argue whether or not we are members of the Body of Christ, as I believe most of us are, but rather help me with my initial request so that, by God's grace, we can reach as many people with the gospel as possible.

Thanks.

33 posted on 07/09/2004 4:51:45 PM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: A2J

So you don't believe in paid clergy? Or not in specifically-educated clergy? I'm really not attacking here, just asking for clarification, but what are your qualifications from being a pastor?

I can't read New Testament Greek, or Hebrew. I don't have years to spend studying Church history and where doctrine came from. I can't spend twenty hours a week studying a passage. My pastor can do all those things, and does, and then explains it to me. If I had to struggle on my own, or only with other people who know as little about the Bible as I do, how would I ever grow?

And again I'm not attacking, I'd like to understand where you're coming from. It seems odd to me.


34 posted on 07/09/2004 5:16:22 PM PDT by JenB (Colorado or Bust: 20 Days)
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To: A2J
The "creative theology" came along about 300 years after our Lord ascended to heaven when power became the god of their desire and walls began being raised.

OK, drop the DaVinci Code and step away slowly.

35 posted on 07/09/2004 5:55:45 PM PDT by NeoCaveman (vote Democrat, it beats working for a living)
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To: A2J
Praise the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Salutations to you and the "emerging flock" you are attempting to gather. As the Lord is surely at work in this undertaking, I would like to share with you my thoughts. My family and I are recent(within 1 year) additions to our local church after "shopping" for a home church for quite some time. We were led by the Lord to a small, Christ centered church in our area with a dynamic pastor, youth groups, Wednesday night bible study, and praise and worship services.
They were recently separating from another church organization that was "old school". We found them to be welcoming and friendly. The name was really what brought us to the church in the first place. It caught my eye several times, and the Spirit of the Lord led us there. The name just summed it all up for me, and they are completely autonomous. It is called Family Fellowship Center.
36 posted on 07/09/2004 6:53:07 PM PDT by in2itagin (God is good.... All the time....)
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To: A2J

Actually the early church preached Jesus Christ crucified our hope of glory. As they were sent out to a new town (not a target group) by the direction of the Holy Spirit and preached that all men have fallen short of the glory of God and that by the finished work of the Cross of Christ and through the Son there was only one way for salvation. they were often stoned to death for preaching or thrown into prisons and many other things. Yes the thing they call church today bears no resemblance to the original called out ones from 2000 years ago. I apologize for jumping to conclusions but when you use buzz words it sound like a marketing scheme a come on over and join our group type of deal. There is only one church it is the body of Christ.


37 posted on 07/09/2004 10:46:00 PM PDT by kansas_goat_roper (GOAT ROPERS NEED LOVE TOO....UP AGAINST THE WALL REDNECK MOTHERS)
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To: JenB
So you don't believe in paid clergy? Or not in specifically-educated clergy? I'm really not attacking here, just asking for clarification, but what are your qualifications from being a pastor?

I believe that there is nothing wrong with the renumeration for those who have devoted themselves to the ministry of the gospel, although the support should be completely from love offerings and not taught as the tithe, which is NOT a New Testament principle.

Unfortunately, the tithe is taught as a required "payment" in order to support clergy, although it is foreign to the teachings of the early church fathers.

I can't read New Testament Greek, or Hebrew.

You no longer need to. All that is needed are a few reference translations for comparison and perhaps a E.W. Vine's expository dictionary or a Strong's concordance and you're in business.

If anything, we have no excuse any longer for not knowing and studying God's word, which is OUR responsibility.

I don't have years to spend studying Church history and where doctrine came from. I can't spend twenty hours a week studying a passage. My pastor can do all those things, and does, and then explains it to me.

And how do you know whether what your pastor says is correct? Perhaps his training in seminary was tainted and/or slanted to support a particular denominational position (as my training did) and not THE truth. Is that a possibility?

If I had to struggle on my own, or only with other people who know as little about the Bible as I do, how would I ever grow?

The same way the first believers did while hiding in caves avoiding capture: prayer, fellowship and the teaching of the apostles (the original ones, not the flakes we see today).

38 posted on 07/09/2004 11:51:53 PM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: JenB
My pastor can do all those things, and does, and then explains it to me.

Careful, I sense a strong welfare mentality in your statement.

Just as there has been a strong emphasis on building a welfare system in our country, which is wrong and unbiblical, so is the system that has existed for centuries among God's people by those who want and need people to be dependent upon them. The saddest thing is how God's people have been lulled into believing that we are not personally responsible for knowing and living His word to the point where we can encourage others in their walk with the Lord.

39 posted on 07/09/2004 11:59:45 PM PDT by A2J (Oh, I wish I was in Dixie...)
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To: A2J

35 Years Ago Flip Wilson did a Skit...
I think he called "his church"
The Church of What's Happenin' NOW!

I believe you will discover that the writers of the actual Book... The Bible ... where not really interested in
conforming to the world in order to gain physical "numbers".



Rom 12:1 Therefore, brothers, I call on you through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is the good and pleasing and perfect will of God.
Rom 12:3 For through the grace which is given to me, I say to everyone being among you, not to have high thoughts beyond what is right to think. But set your mind to be right-minded, even as God divided a measure of faith to each.


You may find out that Jesus is capable of doing much more than you tend to give Him credit for.
Rather than conforming to the world , people will be transformed when the CROSS is preached ...
Paul said

1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Co 1:20 Where [is] the wise? where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.


40 posted on 07/10/2004 1:03:57 AM PDT by Jack Armstrong (a Post Modern America adrift in the Dark)
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To: A2J

Hay Ive got it !


How about ...
THE CROSS!
or
THE Ministry!
Or
The Burden ...
Or
THE YOKE!
OR
something that will really get the carnal Attention of teen youth in the unregenerate world , HOW ABOUT...

The Righteous Faithful Narrow Road!


41 posted on 07/10/2004 1:09:24 AM PDT by Jack Armstrong (a Post Modern America adrift in the Dark)
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To: A2J

I would also say that people are looking for the Church, not something that calls itself something else. I think there is a hunger for something other-worldly. But instead of providing this, ministries and churches decide to make themselves look like the world, as if to say 'see, we are like you, our music is just like yours, our manners, our message is just what you like - your way, right away". This is not church, call it what you will, but it's not church.
There is a book out called "The New Faithful", written by a Catholic. There are many young people looking for the ancient traditions found in the Catholic Church. In the Mass, we are reminded of Christ's Sacrifice, our sins, His Body and Blood, His suffering, and our redemption. Isn't that what it's all about? What can you add to this?


42 posted on 07/10/2004 3:53:33 AM PDT by Gotterdammerung
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To: Jack Armstrong; A2J

Jack suggested, "The Righteous Faithful Narrow Road" as in ...

Matthew 7:13-14

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

That choice would at least be intriguing to young people, and would be a realistic "paradigm" to help them know that choosing a new way of life is challenging and demanding. It has been helpful to me to remember, the following quote,

"Evangelism is neither to convert people, nor to win them, nor to bring them to Christ, though this is indeed the first goal of evangelism. Evangelism is to preach the gospel."
The Rev. John R.W. Stott


43 posted on 07/11/2004 6:00:19 AM PDT by EvaClement (www.biblegateway.com)
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To: JenB; A2J
I can't read New Testament Greek, or Hebrew. I don't have years to spend studying Church history and where doctrine came from. I can't spend twenty hours a week studying a passage. My pastor can do all those things, and does, and then explains it to me. If I had to struggle on my own, or only with other people who know as little about the Bible as I do, how would I ever grow?

My experience with this kind of group has shown me that they tend to reject, resent, and distrust even conservative Christian scholarship.

I grew up in a group not unlike this, complete with the distrust of Christian scholarship. I just graduated college, and was debating between seminary and law school (I was accepted to both). When I was investigating seminary, I was flat-out told by a preacher that I could learn whatever I needed for ministry from the local assembly. That was the general spirit of the feedback I got from most people in that church, although there were some exceptions. To them, the idea of a seminary-educated church leader borders on heretical, because all you need is your trusty King James and a Strongs.

44 posted on 07/11/2004 10:15:07 AM PDT by jude24 (sola gratia)
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To: A2J
Perhaps his training in seminary was tainted and/or slanted to support a particular denominational position (as my training did) and not THE truth. Is that a possibility?

Some of the most spectacular heresies I've seen taught were taught by seminary-educated people.

But equally spectacular are the misrepresnations I've seen of people who claim to read the Bible without bias, and are proud of their lack of education.

45 posted on 07/11/2004 10:17:15 AM PDT by jude24 (sola gratia)
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To: jude24

That's such a switch from what I'm used to. My denominations (PCA) won't ordain a man who hasn't been to seminary.

While some people may be able to study on their own, what prevents the group from being dominated by one person with very strong, but entirely wrong, convictions?


46 posted on 07/11/2004 10:23:04 AM PDT by JenB (Colorado or Bust: 18 Days)
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To: JenB
what prevents the group from being dominated by one person with very strong, but entirely wrong, convictions?

Absolutely nothing. I believe it may be happening already, although nothing major.

The group means well, and they're seeking to apply what they derive from the Scriptures to their everyday lives. They honestly seek to derive their doctrines from Scripture, and not tradition. They really encourage lay involvement better than any other group I am familiar with. The church I grew up in had some very solid elders that did their very best to keep things under control, and some of them are impressively self-educated.

Most of the opposition to me going to seminary was in fact due to the teachings of one guy in particular. He's really influenced the group to the point that they believe it compromises the priesthood of all believers to have educated church leaders leading the church.

47 posted on 07/11/2004 10:39:29 AM PDT by jude24 (sola gratia)
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To: jude24

Which did you choose, by the way?

I find that point of view interesting. I mean, the Bible clearly says that some people are called to be teachers and preachers. Does that viewpoint say that each teacher has to start over at square one? That he can't read what others think, and compare against scripture? Or are they just against formal training/education?

I've heard seminary-trained preachers who didn't know what they were talking about. But I've also heard men who know more about the Bible than I do, who I trust, and who I know would never just blindly accept a doctrine because of tradition.

Pastors are supposed to be shepherds, right? Aren't shepherds supposed to know a bit more than their sheep? Or do the blind lead the blind?


48 posted on 07/11/2004 10:50:59 AM PDT by JenB (Colorado or Bust: 18 Days)
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To: JenB
Which did you choose, by the way?

Law school. Right as I was making the decision, two events affected me. One was the Masachusetts Supreme Court decision, which cemented in my mind how much we need Christian lawyers. The other was how I found myself defending my interest in seminary to people from my denomination. I knew there wouldnt be support for a pastoral ministry for me there, and I wasn't yet fully involved in another denomination. (I've since gotten involved in a Baptist church.)

Or are they just against formal training/education?

They distrust it.

According to their model, I should be establishing myself in a career, and studying the Bible on my own and being mentored by older men in the church. That should be sufficient to prepare me for the ministry, because God didn't establish seminaries in the New Testament church, he established the local church.

Needless to say, I did not and do not agree.

49 posted on 07/11/2004 3:50:53 PM PDT by jude24 (sola gratia)
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To: A2J

Name - New Family Fellowship

Slogan (based on what you have written) Helping you find the answers.

You might note that the model you are planning to follow is no longer considered "cutting edge" in more urbanized areas, but given your market, it may still be a viable niche.

If you are going to follow this model, go all out. Have your meetings on Friday or Saturday evening instead of Sunday morning. Your target audience of unchurched 18 -35 year olds will want to sleep in on Sunday morning, and it will seem less like church. Sing happy-clappy praise choruses instead of old hymns with possibly disconcerting theological themes.

Don't do expository preaching. Have inspirational talks with life application. Don't pass the plate-have boxes by the exit doors.

Your flock can the be happily led astray.


50 posted on 07/11/2004 4:21:40 PM PDT by PAR35
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