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Book Title: The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations|
The author of the book: Dan Kimball
ISBN 13: 9780310245643
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.92 MB
Edition: Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Date of issue: March 1st 2003
Read full description of the books The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations:THE EMERGING CHURCH: VINTAGE CHRISTIANITY FOR NEW GENERATIONS BY DAN KIMBALL
This book is written to those in seeker-sensitive churches who have found that the younger generation is not finding their services attractive. His case is built on personal experience of what the postmodern generation is looking for. Some of what he says he feels a little over-trendy (regardless of his protestations to the contrary). However, he does have put forward some very good insights in this book. The book is limited to American culture, focusing particularly on the state of things in the more liberal West Coast.
Deconstructing Postmodern Ministry, Candles, and Coffee
I think that Kimball makes several valid points in this section. First, he notes that postmoderns do not come into church with a Judeo-Christian worldview that everyone in previous generations was expected to have. Instead of being people who would welcome Christianity if they could just be shown how it fits into their life, they are actively anti-Christian because of our perceived abuses of power. Second, Kimball notes that postmoderns are into spirituality, not presentations. His point here is that slick powerpoint presentations and well-produced music and drama do not make a worship service that appeals to postmoderns. They appreciate community, authenticity, and “spirituality”. Third, postmoderns live in a pluralistic religious society. They are much more aware of Buddhism, Islam, Wicca, and New Age than their predecessors. As such, they are also much more wary of Christianity's claims to uniqueness. Fourth, postmoderns are not just going to “Grow up” and come back to church like their parents did. This is more than a generation gap, it is a world view change. He has LOTS of modern versus postmodern comparison charts. The gist is that moderns are rational, systematic, propositional, fixed, and individualistic. Postmoderns tend to be experiential, fluid, mystical, narratival, and communal. FACT: The unchurched population of America is the 5th largest mission field on earth. Postmoderns tend to be less deterministic about religion, sexual orientation. Kimball also marks the trend towards a global culture. (I would add, a global culture dominated by consumerism. How does THAT fit in with postmodernism?) Most postmoderns are mistrustful of Christians while respecting Jesus Christ. They are especially leery of the creepy, consumeristic Christian subculture that we have created. Kimball is all about being the church instead of going to church. He believes that postmoderns respond much more to interaction and the responsibility that comes to them in a kingdom theology. Absolutely against the idea of consumer Christianity (passive entertainment Christianity).
Reconstructing: Vintage Christianity in the Emerging Church
Kimball emphasizes the necessity of change from the seeker-sensitive model in order to reach the emerging generations. He wants worship services that are experiential, Christ-centered, communal, and spiritual. Organic versus linear. Multisensory worship. Kimball argues that the incarnation is the ultimate example of God providing multisensory worship for us. We should, therefore, continue to recognize that we are multi-sensory beings and try to create experiences of worship that involve more than just the ears. Kimball believes that aesthetics are particularly important to postmoderns. The worship space must feel spiritual. He advocates the use of candles, dim lighting, and religious iconography/symbology to create such an atmosphere. This seems a little gimmicky. But I do like his though that the people who are “leading” the worship service should do everything they can to disappear. Kimball moves the band to the back of the worship center, creates a very low stage to emphasis the unity of the speaker and the audience, etc. People should be allowed to express worship through the arts, both visual and auditory. Also advocates male and female speakers up front often, to communicate that we are not male chauvanists. Importance of preaching narrative. Kimball speaks of “theotopical”preaching. This is important because the postmodern generation lacks a Christian worldview. It must be created for them. He also mentions a hunger for depth of teaching. He believes the following topics are critical for the coming generation: kingdom living, discipleship, Christ is the only way to God, human sexuality, marriage and family, hell, trustworthiness of Scripture, and messy spirituality. The preacher should posture himself as a fellow traveler, not an answer man. Living out the message is the best form of preaching. Use visuals. Evangelism should no longer be a sales pitch. Instead it should be based on relationships, and living in the kingdom now, instead of focusing purely on the hereafter. Not an invitation to an event, but an invitation to a community. An invitation to the kingdom, instead of a way to get to heaven. MISSIONS IS NOT JUST OVERSEAS. Do you know any non-Christians? Do you pray for them by name? Spiritual formation is necessary. Young people need a Gandalf or a Yoda. Create spiritual feeders instead of spiritual consumers. Leaders need to be shepherds, not CEOs, holy men, not managers. There is great value in listening as well as speaking. Reflections I wonder why, when the Midwest is still in the throes of modernity, that presentations to young people do not have to be tailored more to meet the needs of kids on the West Coast. There was a lot of good stuff in this book. I did not like some of the trendiness of it. I also do not like using the term vintage. But it does have a lot of the things that I have been doing in there, and that is always helpful to making me like something.
Read information about the authorDan was born and raised in north eastern New Jersey, and got his BS in Landscape Architecture from Colorado State University. Dan was a drummer in a rockabilly/punk band for many years and lived in London, England for a year playing in the band. After the band ended, Dan went to Israel and lived there for several months studying the Bible on his own to see whether Christianity was a valid faith, or simply the religion of American suburbia. Mainly all of his closest friends were not Christians, so he desired to be able to intelligently explain and know why Christianity was a faith which made sense. After Israel, he moved to Santa Cruz where he began attending Santa Cruz Bible Church and got very involved in various ministries at the church. Because he felt he wanted to dedicate all his time to serving in the church, he went to Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon and graduated with a Graduate Certificate in Bible.
Upon returning to Santa Cruz after graduating from Multnomah Seminary, he became high school pastor at Santa Cruz Bible Church working with teenagers in what became a large youth ministry along with Josh Fox. After serving in high school ministry for 8 years as high school pastor, Dan (and Josh) felt the need for a worship gathering and ministry that reflected more of the values of the emerging culture and heart of emerging generations. So, they started the Sunday night "Graceland" worship services and ministry at Santa Cruz Bible Church. Graceland initially started as a college ministry, but because it connected with a broader age range became a "young adult" ministry and then eventually became alternative worship gatherings for all ages. After several years, Graceland eventually folded into Santa Cruz Bible Church, as the dream for launching a new church in Santa Cruz was formed. Dan was part of the leadership team that launched the first church plant of Santa Cruz Bible Church when Vintage Faith Church was birthed in February 2004. Dan's current role with Vintage Faith Church is primary teaching pastor and oversight of the missional aspects of the church. Dan has been married to Becky since 1990 and have two daughters, Katie and Claire and one day hope to have a poodle. Dan loves rockabilly and punk music, comic art and drives a 1966 Mustang that is slowly rusting. Dan is currently pursuing a doctorate degree (Doctor of Ministry) from George Fox Evangelical Seminary where he also serves as adjunct faculty mentor.
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