Sunday, February 18, 2007

beyond sexy church

The emerging church is more than mere aesthetic. Recently a friend was telling me that he is sick and tired of getting conference information in the mail with the picture of the presenter on the material. The picture of course usually entails a rather attractive individual, who looks like he (usually a man pictured as the expert) could've been the quarterback for the highschool football team, overly excited and sometimes with his trophy wife by his side.

Perhaps I'm being a bit cynical, but the presenter appears to be overtly the center of this new and innovative expression of church that needs to be 'sold'. Of course such conferences wouldn't have an audience if they didn't show up. ya know, it's not too unlike the dynamic bewteen celebs and paparazzi, 'who's really to blame?', the stars or the fans who follow them.

This is what I call the sexy church...the overly appealing, dripping with lust 'you need it now church!' A market driven reality treating Jesus as a commodity to be packaged, sold and assimilated...and now, on into eternity!

I can understand those who, at first look, see the emerging church and determine that it's the newest sex appeal craze of church out there. But for all the artistic aesthetic that accompanies it, the emerging church is not about being a sexy church, that lures people in because of it's mere outward appearance. The sustainability in this kind of church won't happen without substance and authentic engagement with the holy that is connected deeply to something beyond ourselves. And finally, at it's best, the expression of the emerging church wants to honor the contributions of all at the table, insiders/outsiders, confessors and non-confessors, believing that all come with something to teach and to learn.

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