Leadership Forum June 20 ::: Featuring Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and Mark Scandrette

13 05 2008

For anybody within driving distance to Oakland, California, who is interested in the development of faith communities in emerging cultures, you don’t want to miss this event:

Cultivating Faith Communities in Emerging Cultures

Some view our rapidly changing world with great dismay. Others view it with great hope. Join authors and innovators Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt and Mark Scandrette in a hopeful conversation about Cultivating Faith Communities in Emerging Cultures. You’ll have the opportunity to get a closer look at what’s happening on the cutting edge of the church in emerging cultures as Tony, Doug and Mark draw from real-life experience to lead three separate conversations on theology, church planting, and discipleship. A light meal will follow, which includes a Q&A forum with the authors, and opportunities to connect with other local people who are enthusiastic and hopeful about the role of the church in this new world.

Date: Friday, June 20, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. PST

Location: Sequoyah Community Church, 4292 Keller Ave. Oakland, CA 94605

Cost: On-Site = $20 (includes lunch); Off-Site = $15 (no lunch)

Questions: Contact John at jfohara@gmail.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON REMOTE VIEWING: This is a pay-per-view event. To reserve your seat at the live stream, a payment of $15 can be made by clicking the “TIP JAR” on the ustream.tv page on or before Friday, June 19, 2008. This stream will be password-protected on Saturday, June 20!

For those who are not within driving distance but would like to sit in on the conversation, we’ll be live streaming a pay-per-view channel at:



Is AGMergent Toking the Jesus Bong?

12 05 2008

I suppose it was only a matter of time before I was outed.

In a recent post, Steve Knight introduces his readers to John Crowder, a clearly pentecostal/charismatic preacher who is apparently tagging himself as “postmodern,” if not wholesale emergent. Steve is tempted to label him an “emergent pentecostal,” but hesitates to do so and points out in a footnote that I may disagree with such an alignment.

Well, I do indeed; which provides a very interesting platform for me to paint a more nuanced picture of what I believe the budding relationship between the charismatic movement and the emergent conversation might actually be.

So here I am, at 11:17 p.m. PST, getting outed by Steve Knight and John Crowder as neither a cessationist (I believe in the continuation of the charismatic gifts, including speaking in tongues and prophecy) nor an unthinking, emotionally-fixated Holy Spirit junkie (I also believe that the entire counsel of Hebrew-Christian scripture has more to emphasize than those charismatic gifts alone, and that we Pentecostals would do well to balance our gifts-of-the-Spirit-diet with some of the fruit of the Spirit… particularly self-control).

My own theopraxis regarding the role of the Holy Spirit, to boil it down, is pretty straightforward:

Read the rest of this entry »

First Meet-Up: No Casualties

23 04 2008

I had a delightful time breaking bread and getting to know some of my fellow emerging pentecostal people from around Northern California tonight at our first meet-up.  RevTim was kind enough to record our  conversation for those of us who were there and promises to negotiate fairly with each of you before releasing highly sensitive audio files to the general public (that means you, T.T.)

All kidding aside, it was pretty cool to see ministers get together to talk about philosophy, theology and practice around a table of friendship.  Personally I feel like it was a hit and that there was a good vibe among us.  A whole bunch of ideas that were shared really stuck with me.  Thanks for being a part of it.

If you wanted to join us but had other meetings planned, or were out of the area, there will be other opportunities to get involved in this.  I would love to see local, ongoing conversations emerge out of tonight’s meal.  Please keep the rest of us informed if you’re planning something.  Can’t wait to do this again next year.

Emerging Pentecostal Meet-Up in Sacramento Apr. 22

15 04 2008

Note: This is a Re-Post, making one final push for our upcoming meet-up next week in Sacramento.  If you’re in the area, please try to make it!

Join us Tuesday, April 22 for the first meet-up of Emerging Pentecostals for Northern California and Nevada. We’ll talk about the developing relationship between emerging church and the pentecostal movement, our own stories, and developing a framework for ongoing conversation. Tell your friends and come on down.

Sacramento EP Meet Up (.pdf download-and-print flyer)

Sacramento EP Coloring Page (for the kids)


Emerging Pentecostals NorCal Meet-Up

Sacramento, California

4.22.08 @ 4:55 p.m.

Strings Italian Restaurant, 9500 Micron Ave.

E-Mail RSVP by noon on day-of to:


Jonathan’s Story

5 04 2008

This post is part of a series called “Stories of Emergence.” Tell your story here at Emerging Pentecostal by e-mailing John at jfohara(at)gmail.com.

I passionately want to be involved in the current mission of God in the world. I don’t want to be where God was five years ago. I want to know where his heart is today.

This is a wonderful idea, and I want to be a part of it. Thus, consider this my story of emergence, or of how I came to be involved with both the pentecostal church and what is commonly called the emerging church.

I met Jesus when I was just shy of fifteen years old, and met him through what you could call a dramatic encounter that took place in an Assembly of God church in Salisbury, North Carolina. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a part of the supernatural actions of God in the world. I wanted to be close to him in tangible ways, and I wanted to bring others to be close to him as well.

As my faith developed, I began to do grow in some very specific ways that together have shaped the person I am now, almost ten years later. First, I began to seek out how I, specifically, should serve Jesus with my life. I looked into being a pastor, a missionary to an obscure country, and a number of other things, because I felt strongly that I was called to reach out to people that were far from God. Read the rest of this entry »

More Emerging Pentecostals

29 03 2008

I googled “emerging pentecostal” and found this excellent post about what it means to be pentecostal from an AG Pastor in North Carolina.

Just a brief and interesting reminder that ideas don’t flow from the communication hubs anymore; but from the various nodes that the hub represents.

Lion on a Kite String: The Untamed Power of Open-Source Communities

29 03 2008

Today was a dramatic turn of events for the AGMergent blog. I awoke this morning to an e-mail from a new friend, who tipped me off on our brief introduction at Emergent Village. Once confirming it for myself, I clicked back over to the hit stats and found it had already begun to skyrocket: by the end of the day we reached over 200 hits for a blog that had seen an average of 8 hits per day leading up to the posting at EV.

One interesting ripple effect of this announcement of hybrid emergent groups is the reaction of Andrew Jones at Tall Skinny Kiwi. He expressed some despair over the hyper-use of “the ‘e’ word,” likely fearing that once everything becomes emergent, nothing will be. I can understand and do agree with the argument, but also feel at the same time a need to re-state the reason I want to contribute to this conversation, even though I arrived to the dance about 15 years after the first song began to play (I haven’t even made the pilgrimage to NM… for shame).

In my mind, Emergent is a placeholder for the space between the modern church and whatever it’s becoming in a postmodern world. “E” is not the only placeholder, but a significant one in that there are actual networks in place for conversations to grow and develop. I imagine that for people who have worked very hard to carve out a tangible reality out of the broad concepts spun out of the Leadership Network, it would seem presumptuous for outsiders to claim the same flag and stand on the shoulders of giants from out of nowhere.

The fact that more people are getting turned on to emergent should stand as a testament to its’ reforming influence in the pre-existing church. Maybe these hybrid forms are post-emergent in the same way I’ve often heard people describe postmodern as “not anti-modern, but a new outcropping from the soil of modernism.” Hybridization should come as no surprise to philosophers who prize so highly the open-source nature of postmodern faith. To borrow from the heavily-appealed-to Matrix film, the tangible outcome of philosophical assertions (such as what we call things) are the spoon, and we can bend it because “there is no spoon.”

There is an inherent danger, like a lion on a kite string, to open-source communities: everybody’s an architect, and everybody is also a construction worker. There is very little holding the movement back from becoming what it will become, because embedded in the DNA of such an egalitarian experiment is the idea that people are always invited – not just to watch, but to add rooms and windows and doors as well, even if those embellishments were never part of the deal in the original blueprints.