The Practices of Emergent Christianity: Urban Monasticism and the Other Six Days of the Week
This evangelism campaign could be used by a high-church Anglican congregation or an evangelical, non-denominational church. The campaign does not dictate or depend upon the faith practices of the church that runs the campaign. None-the-less, there people who are most familiar with the Internet and online social networking are typically younger than the average church member. The Emergent Church movement has shown itself to be very popular among this same younger population. The evangelism campaign creates new structures within a congregation in the form of teams and groups. These teams and groups are defined by their specific purposes and practices. In fact, these teams and groups will be the most tangible legacy of a successful campaign. It makes sense to consider exactly what practices will be introduced in the course of the campaign.
One of the clearest and most concrete ways of describing Christianity is in terms of a set of practices. The work of such writers as Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass and Phyllis Tickle describe Christian practices that are inherited from ancient Christianity and that are giving new life and vitality to present day Christians.
Whatever practices are used to implement the campaign, they will be experienced in community. Participants in the campaign will be supported in adopting Christian practices when they join and participate in a group. These groups should meet mainly on weekdays and in places other than the church. One of the underlying ideas behind this proposal is that Sunday worship can only be meaningful if the worshipers are actively engaged in Christian faith and practices the other six days of the week. Breaking bread with friends and family at a Sabbath meal gives us a more tangible and personal connectoin to the ritual breaking of bread and sharing of wine in the Eucharist. A daily practice of prayer and scripture reading gives deeper meaning to the prayers and lessons of a Sunday. Christianity has to become an integral part of a person’s life before that person can be transformed by their faith in Jesus. Even the most powerful conversion experience or altar call has to be followed up with a transformation of one’s life. That transformation happens incrementally as a person adopts the practices of Christian faith. We facilitate the transformation by supporting one another. The groups and teams of the evangelism campaign are ideally suited to this task.