This post is part of a synchroblog initiated by Julie Clawson. Julie and I ended up being roommates when we both spoke at Urbana this past December. You can check out all the other posts at her blog or over at the facebook page.
What is emerging in the church? What good things are growing that we can celebrate? Who are the diverse voices that are now leading the church into the 21st century? There has been a lot of chatter around the interwebs lately regarding how the church emerging in this 21st century is a mostly white male phenomenon. On one hand, there is good reason for this discussion. Many of the bestselling authors and rockstar speakers still happen to be middle-class white guys with Evangelical roots, and it is easy to assume that the most visible players define the whole. Nothing against privileged white guys with big platforms, but most of us know that they are not the sum of (or the core of) what is stirring in the church these days. In fact, their voices are in truth no longer the dominant voices as those of us who were previously marginalized in the Western church world (for one reason or another) are now defining the conversation regarding the church’s future. Our gender, our race, our orientation, our theological or socioeconomic background can no longer by any stretch of the imagination be reason to silence us. We are bringing our knowledge and perspectives from the margins to help guide the church forward. It isn’t something we hope to achieve someday, it is what is happening now. We are the emerging church. We are the voice of the church.
One might wonder why I’d want to weigh in on this kind of synchroblog here at BTG. Our desire to foster safe and spacious conversations around the intersection of faith and sexuality is not limited to those who might find themselves in an emergent church. But what is wonderful about Julie’s questions is their openness – this is not just tied to the emergent movement – but it is a question to anyone who connects as a follower of Jesus with others stumbling and staggering along in this journey of faith. That openness is both something to celebrate about what is emerging in the church – and a reason to jump in and engage.