About a week ago I read an excellent post by David Fitch on his blog. It was titled “The Emerging/Missional Church – ‘They don’t have converts’ Why Mark Driscoll misses the point”.
He was responding to the criticism of Driscoll that emerging and missional churches do not have converts, or they have very few. As many people know, emerging/Emergent/missional are all buzz words floating around the blogosphere, books, conferences and many other places. So if his critique is correct then there needs to be some serious reflections about the effectiveness of these movements/conversations.
David Fitch takes this up, along with Brother Maynard, and analyzes and compares the missional church movement, Emergent, and the “Drisconian megachurch.” He does an excellent job pointing out the differences between the three and where Driscoll “misses the point.” Here is a short synopsis:
1. Emergent is not looking for converts. That is not to say there aren’t any, but he points out that Emergent is more of a reform movement.
2. Missional churches are incarnational. Meaning it takes a long time living among people before there are converts, much like a missionary in a foreign country. Many of these converts have no church background and did not grow up in church. They also tend to be small. Driscoll’s church, however, is a mega church and attracts many people who grew up in church and fell away or former Catholics. Fitch argues that converts in terms of percentages, rather than numbers, is a much more accurate measurement (if it must be measured). Therefore, neither approach is necessarily wrong, they are just reaching different people.
I highly recommend checking out Fitch’s post and the ensuing conversation in the comments, especially if anything I said was unclear.