Archive for June, 2007

What Questions are you asking?

June 17th, 2007 No comments

I had the opportunity to present at a session of the Kentucky Annual Conference of Methodism this past week. During one of our lunch break out sessions, I was a part of a conversation on “Emerging Ministries.” With our denomination in its fourth decade (!!) of decline, people are worried about the future and the near complete lack of 20-30 year olds shows there is reason for concern.

So what is the answer? I will submit to you this: We need to be less concerned about the answers until we start asking the right questions. That is where I believe the emerging church holds promise: not with answers, but with questions.

If church ask the question “How do we get 20 and 30 somethings into our doors?” I believe we will fail miserable. Instead, we should inquire “What questions are these new generations asking?” This generation is no longer primarily asking “How do I get to heaven when I die?” or “What church is best for me?” Instead, we find a generation who is asking things like:question.jpg

  • What does salvation look like here on earth?
  • How can we experience holistic worship and restoration?
  • What does it mean to pray ‘Thy Kingdom come?’
  • Where can I find authentic community?

These questions are more than just a shift in focus, they are a shift in thinking. This postmodern generation now thinks narratively in a non-lineal fashion and approaches issues holistically. Spiritual restoration cannot happen apart from physical and emotional restoration.

To say these things is not to deny the importance of other’s questions. I am convinced that disagreements in the church are less about different answers once we realize the questions we each are asking.

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