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December 08, 2005



Ryan, this is vital I am glad you raised it. In Mark Lau Bransons class a student inquired about the emerging church being analoguous to the jesus movement. Branson replied "If the emerging churches don't bridge the generational gap they will end up like the calvarys and vineyards."


Hey Ryan,
Thanks for answering that question. Are there any resources available about how to bridge the gap? I don't know about anyone else,but I work in a large mainline denominational church and I think a large portion of the people in my church of every generation would be on board with 90% of the important advances the emerging church is making. They just need someone to converse with in a non-threatening, non-judgemental way. I wonder if we should be training and sending bridge-builders to help those thousands of mainline churches that are in trouble to move forward? Just a thought.

Existential Punk

Rich, that is exactly one of the things I want to do when i finish with seminary - consult and build bridges!

Jerry from PA

Conversations the word became a part of title of the seminar series I have been doing in churches here in pa.

I think helping people become part of discussion is the most important thing we can do for people who are involved in the institutional church.


As a 50-year-old Christian who loves these directions the church is taking, all I can say is Amen ... there are a lot of us aging types ready to jump on the emerging bandwagon.


As I keep thinking about this post, I can't get over the fact this says more about those "80-somethings" than it does about those on the dance floor.

Of course, us younger folks have to bridge the conversation. It's not enough for us to change the Church giving only "because we feel like it" reasons. We have to listen and share.

However, this isn't a one sided conversation. This isn't about one side having all the burden to draw in the other side. Those who are older have to be interested in listening. A marriage is doomed if only one side cares about finding unity again.

Those "gray hairs" were not just recipients of a properly translated expression. They had to begin with the willingness to listen to the younger ones, let go their own wills in many cases, and trust that the Spirit who worked still works.

So often, in many churches, we run into people with precisely the opposite attitude, who when faced with even explained changes, have little more to say than "bah, humbug."

Of course, we need to bridge the gap. But, having done what we can, we cannot always expect there will be the same level of understanding.

Which makes it all a matter of prayer the Spirit will change hearts more than a matter of us saying or doing just the right thing.


By the by, if you want to listen to this conversation from the perspective of faithful Christians entirely against everything the Emerging Church is doing, wander over to merecomments.typepad.com

It's a good place to learn about the challenges we face in communicating what we are about.


It's about making room for each other. Someone most likely decided we need to make room for those "gray hairs" and let them know they were welcome. Those "gray hairs" had to make room for the concept of non-traditional worship.
We ran a labyrinth type experience at our place a little while ago. The two most open and encouraging people to the idea were those "gray hairs."

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  • Hi, welcome to my former blog! My name is Ryan Bolger, and this is where I posted my thoughts on Jesus, culture, new forms of community, among other things. Come visit me at my new blog: http://www.ryanbolger.com. I still teach at Fuller Seminary in Southern California where I'm doing some writing as well. Feel free to bounce around the new or old website -- I hope it might stir your imagination -- feel free to stir mine as well by leaving some comments, preferably at the new site... Peace...


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