Emergent Church Overview – How Did This Get Started?

How and when did this all get started?

It is left to church historians to assemble the various influences, systems of thought, cultural contexts and actual events that led to the current EC movement.  However, one thread seems relatively easy to follow: in the mid to late 90’s, a group of mostly young pastors found one another at a conference of an organization known as the Leadership Network.  The conference was exploring how best to reach young adults with the Gospel.  The focus seemed to turn to the impact of post-modernism, and a group of these pastors began to interact.  Included in this initial group were Mark Driscoll, Tony Jones, Dan Kimball, Chris Seay, Spencer Burke and Andrew Jones.  Soon, Doug Pagitt brought in Brian McLaren to join the others.

After a period of time, Mark Driscoll dropped out, partly because the time away from home and the church he had planted were becoming too stressful, but also because Mr. Driscoll was concerned with the doctrinal slant that the Leadership group seemed to be taking.   Two of the “originals” have become identified with web sites that they pioneered: Spencer Burke with theooze.com, and Tony Jones with emergentvillage.com.  Each of these original Leadership Network participants have played prominent roles in the growth of the EC movement, through books, articles, videos, speeches, interviews and blogs.

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