Not the 50's nor the 90's but the Emergents!

There are a couple of ways of thinking about "church" that seem to be in tension with each other.

There is the 1950's idea that believes if you build it, people will come.  Put a cross on the building and people will come to the church.  Another way of this model is expressed this way, "yes people leave the church in their 20's but they always come back when they have kids."  There are several books on the shelves that argue that this way of thinking is all sorts of wrong.  I differ to these books.  

There is the more popular and more recent 1990's idea that believes that if you get a band that play contemporary music while having a dynamic speaker then people will come.  This more difficult to argue as no longer valid as we sit in the shadow of mega churches/teachers such as this guy or this guy or this woman.  However, you may recall that back in 2007 Willow Creek (a church that pioneered the 1990's model of church) reported that that model was a mistake and does not lead to discipleship.  

It is not that these above models are totally wrong 100% of the time.  Rather it is that we have put all our eggs in a particular basket as a way to "save the church" from extinction.

We are in the middle of the Emergent Church/Incarnational Christian gaining traction as the new model that will "save the church".  And while I am an advocate of this way of being the Church, I have to admit that this model too will suffer the same fate as other models if it is unwilling or unable to adapt.

The 1950's model, the 1990's model the Emergent model are all wonderful models - they are not, regardless of the rhetoric, silver bullets.