One of the things I don't understand about all the talk in emerging church circles about how what we're doing is so new and radically better than traditional church just deosn't make sense to me and wreaks of self-righteousness. Because when it comes down to it, ministry is not a model, its not a church meeting, its not a tradition of do's and don'ts. Its simply being a part of the movement of Spirit on earth connecting people to God, and this only possible through Christ. It is nothing more.
It has nothing to do with obsessive church growth theories. It has nothing to do with traditional vs. contemp. worship. it has nothing to do with views on baptism or speaking in tongues. It has nothing to do with being post-modern or pre-modern. It has nothing to do with meeting on Sundays or tuesday nights. It has nothing to do with meeting in large buildings funded through the congregated people or in small homes funded by individuals. It has nothing to do with terms like emerging, emergent, house church, simple church, institutional church, traditional church, seeker church, revolutionaries, new testament church, acts church, established church, missional church etc. etc.
For me, all these labels are not fundamental to church. Church is a grace, given by God through Christ for which we may participate. And for those of us called to be in leadership of it, its not ours to control and accuse others with. It is to love and serve. And that has no glamor of the bright lights and chrisitan celebrityisms. That means being up all night because you care deeply about church. That means being visited by the stench of the presences of dark spirits that seek to destroy the communities God has entrusted you with. That means being personally wounded by the very ones you desire to love and serve. Its not a conversation of being right or wrong in church models. Its a spiritual war and that leaves no time being right or wrong. Rather, we just have to act and respond to the Sprit's moving on earth. The places we come to are not for writing books and forcing movements, but rather to respond with gratitude that we are allowed to paticipate in church at all for it is a grace and not an entitlement.
I think Bonhoeffer puts it best:
"We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things? If we do not give thanks daily for hte Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ." -Life Together, p. 29.