Yesterday I had an excellent conversation with Chris Brooks at the Caribou Coffee in Wheaton. Chris is the Pastor of Family Life at River City Community Church, an urban multi-ethnic faith community in inner-city Chicago.
He came to me with a difficult question: where is the intersection of the urban church and the emerging church? Do the two worlds intersect, and if so, why is it so hard to find much evidence of this intermingling on either side?
I suspect there are many answers. In large part it's probably because the emerging church conversation is so decentralized and amorphous. It only consists of what the participants bring to it, and thus far, not many of the participants have been from an indigenously urban context. (Though I suspect this needs some definition. For instance, both Wicker Park Grace and Church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler are indigenously urban emerging churches, and yet I'm not sure they're quite what Chris had in mind.) At any rate, this is a gap in the emerging church conversation that sorely needs to be filled, and I wonder if up/rooted can play some role in filling it.
So I'm throwing this out there for conversation, and I really want to encourage the readers of this blog to participate:
Have you seen intersections of the urban church with the emerging church? If so, where? What do they already share in common? How can each enrich the other? And what needs to be done to continue merging the two?