Monday, October 02, 2006

Jacob's Well

Following a link or two the other day, I discovered an article on Christian Century about an emerging church in Kansas City called Jacobs Well. It's worth reading.
The "emerging church" is a movement within Christianity that many are hailing as the Gen X version of the church, a postmodern, inclusive understanding of Christian spirituality that reconnects with the church's ancient roots, finding ways to be relevant in practical and meaningful ways, being welcoming to and inclusive of people who feel unwanted in traditional evangelical churches, and with a renewed appreciation for faith as an experience rather than a dogma.
Jacob's Well is about a thousand members strong, led by pastor Tim Keel, who generally is regarded as one of the leaders of the emerging movement. (Brian McLaren is the other; ironically, Dan Kimball, who first coined the phrase "emerging church," is not.)

The article describes the worship as participatory rather than passive, and "edgy, closer to grunge than to praise-chorus music" -- a pretty good sign, I think, though I'm not partial to grunge -- and talks about the church's efforts to embrace the arts, to the point that the sanctuary functions as a gallery, and Keel regularly incorporates the art into his sermons. And of course, the church has been hugely successful at drawing members from Gen X, who are generally down on organized religion in general, and evangelical Christianity specifically.
The article is good; it also touches on some of the suspicion that evangelical leaders have of the emerging church movement, which lacks evangelicals' preoccupation with "right" doctrine and dogma -- an Enlightenment approach that works in some cultures and generations, but not in others.
All told, it sounds like an interesting church, and it's a good article.

1 comment:

Jonathan Zila said...

I can't send you an keeps getting bounced back...So as it goes, probably only for me, I made plans without first consulting
Jen about her schedule. It turns out she already has plans for Friday evening. I am sorry to have to reschedule. You are still playing d&d this Saturday right? If so, then lets go for Friday the 20th, and Jennifer is sitt=
ing right here, so I confirmed it with her as I wrote this. Welcome to my life