Interview With Steve Said on Emerging Church

I subscribe to the Australian Christian magazine…well only since Craig took over as editor. He does a great job. In fact I have never seen so many article sourced for an online publication. Massive ammounts of stuff I rarely keep up with. But this one caught my attention as I know Steve Said, he is a great guy, a real thinker and lots of fun too. He is a guy who will not shink back from speaking his mind just to pamper a relationship. He says what he thinks.
I have pulled just an extract out the interview as I have not got permission. But if you want more….and a heap of other great article and interviews, all with local people doing great things in Oz, then sign up! Here is a bit of Craig interviewing Steve –

Steve S …May I be so bold as to suggest that by and large it’s a selfish thing that prompts that move out towards something emerging and missional? Often people say “I’m looking for something more organic”. My experience has been when people use those kinds of words it’s code for “don’t tell me what to do, don’t make me volunteer for another program.”

CB: They’re looking for something less “high maintenance”?

SS: In my mind it’s a move away from a machine metaphor – a mechanistic view of life – to an organic system. But what happens is that people responding to a mechanistic system think that withdrawing themselves from that system and doing nothing is organic. But that’s not organic. That’s just “I’m not doing the old thing anymore”. The comparison I often give is between a machine and a tree: a tree is actually a series of organic systems working together. There’s just as much structure – there’s probably even more activity – but it’s a different kind, a different order.

One of the fundamental differences is that you turn on a machine and it keeps going, it just keeps churning things out until parts burn out – aha! – whereas in an organic system there tends to be room…this is where I find Psalm 1 helpful, “a tree bears fruit in season”…so when it’s time for someone or a group of people to remain fallow for a while, that’s more of an organic kind of system. But when people in emerging contexts – I find – use the word organic, they don’t mean what I’ve just described, they mean “I’m over being busy doing stuff that is disconnected from my life.”

CB: They’re talking about taking a break or dropping out?

SS: Dropping out – yeah, and I know if that’s put into this sort of article it might create a degree of backlash. Actually, it did. I remember when Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost went over to the UK and started talking about it’s not the emerging church it’s the emerging missional church and we do have a task, there was an enormous backlash in the UK where a lot of people in the emergent scene, some of the bigger names, railed against that and said it “sounds a lot like the mechanistic metaphor and sounds like too much hard work”.

Hang on a minute! Are we called to transform the earth?

More here
In fact they do have a “mail to a friend” pdf, on there so if you think you are my friend and want the whole article, email me and I will email it to you…friend:)
Actually ACOM students apparently get free access to this magazine!!

Craig also has interviews with –
» Q & A with Michael Duncan (part 1)
» Q & A with Michael Duncan (part 2)
» Q & A with Rev Canon Gideon Byamugisha
» Q & A with Jim Reiher
» Q & A with John Franke
» Q & A with Tony Campolo
» Q & A with Al Hirsch


5 thoughts on “Interview With Steve Said on Emerging Church

  1. You inspired me to go and read the full article!

    Steve Said seems to respond out of great love and respect for every part of the Church, whether it be emerging, traditional or whatever – great stuff.

    I found his exploration of the motivations of those moving towards emerging/organic ministries to be very insightful. If I’m honest, the appeal of emerging-style ministries to me is a mix of

    (a) dissatisfaction with a traditional approach
    (b) a concern for right priorities in the life of the Church.
    (c) my personal preferences and lifestyle
    (d) more that I’m not yet aware of!

    I’m usually much more conscious of and ready to admit to (a) & (b) rather than (c). Steve’s thoughts really helped me analyse my motivations. I think it’s important to be aware of what is driving us in all we do.

  2. This relates a little to a conversation I started after having read the “Exodus Papers” available on the blog.

    I see that there is a very real trend toward consumerism within the general church. It isn’t hard to pick up on it and I have been on the receiving end of it more than a few times. I think the same trend is also cultural. Which is why I asked the questions I did of Josh and his mates.

    I think the EC runs the risk of becoming an “easy out” for those who are easily enticed away from a bit of good ‘ol hard work.

    That’s not to say there is not a huge amount of relevence in the “missional” aspect of the EC particularly as it seems to exist in Oz.

    My 2 cents worth anyway.


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