A few people have asked me what and where is the iMergent Church and my answer tends to surprise them. Let me explain why.
1- The iMergent Church isn’t a church at all.
2- The iMergent Church has no physical location.
3- The iMergent Church is and is yet becoming.
Now that we have established that, let me address the first response. The iMergent Church isn’t a church. The iMergent Church is a term I coined that refers to the use of the internet and social media technologies to expand the kingdom of God and provide a place for online community to interact and support one another on their spiritual development.
In every age technologies have been developed which have enabled humankind to share information through new communication channels. At the same time, institutional religious systems have fought against these innovations, often in the attempt to suppress the free flow of information. Current media technologies have created a landscape similar to the invention of the printing press but with a much wider reach. More on this later.
As stated earlier, the iMergent Church isn’t a church in the traditional sense, so why us the term? The original term for Church (Ecclesia) does not imply anything other than a coming together, a union of persons with God.
Greek word is ekklesia
Variously translated: church, congregation, assembly
From ek ‘out of’ and kaleo ‘call’, but does not mean ‘called out’
“Ecclesiastical” comes from ekklesia English ‘church’, German ‘Kirche’, and Scottish ‘Kirk’ from the Greek word kuriakos ‘Lord’s’ or ‘lordly’
What “church” means in English that it doesn’t mean in Greek:
- The clergy of a religious body
- Building where a congregation meets
- Denomination–“a religious organization uniting in a single legal and administrative body a number of local congregations”–Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
The iMergent Church is a gathering together of people “called” to pursue spirituality but it is not a religious organization within which this pursuit takes place. This leads to the next subject of why there is no physical location but we will examine that next time.
What are your thoughts on the iMergent Church so far ?