Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Claiming the "Other"

Gavin shared an interesting bit about dissolving marketing. 

It reminded me of Susan Cox-Johnson and her blog the other day about why the UMC couldn't quite get its arms around Emergent, and the comment I left on her blog. I think upon reflection that I missed the full extent of the conversation around the emerging church she was present for, but it spurred thoughts for me about integrating the church with "any" movement or marketing strategy.

I leave you with the comment I left, and the video that Gavin shared to consider how this is working out in your context, especially as the church seems to be losing the branding/marketing battle...and maybe for good cause. 

I believe that as with so many other things we are afraid of the "other" and that it makes it very difficult to integrate the "other" into our way of being or thinking. Emergent seems to have developed into the "Other" in UMC culture. 
However, I would offer a word of hope for just such a situation. We are given the command to welcome the "other" into our midst just as we were once aliens...in Egypt, to Israel, to Christ, to the church...and as such can be focused into this way.
Additionally, I think that when we can rediscover how that which is "other" is foundational to who we are, and how we came to be, that we welcome it as self, rather than "other" and can therefore integrate such things back into our stylings. I believe this is where we hold the most cards in dealing with our local churches.
I know there is a longing for depth of person and spirit to be developed in and with our congregations and think that as we can resolve how it has already been formative to how we came to be at this point we can uncover that deep wellspring of God within, and create the "emergent church" within our local churches, without the label and therefore eradicating much of the attendant fear.

Scholz & Friends: "Dramatic shift in marketing reality" from Michael Reissinger on Vimeo.

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