Approaching the Emerging Church
This chapter presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book seeks to portray and reflect upon a congregational study of one emerging church, Jacobsfield Vineyard (JV). An emerging church is one that is trying to figure out how to do and be church in a relevant way without having to be held back by the baggage of evangelicalism. The book presents a narrative of the JV congregational study and presents the themes which emerged from the research. It synthesizes these into a central theological question and presents these themes and the central question as comparative concepts which other churches may find useful in considering. The book reviews the relevant literature of the field of congregational studies to show how congregational studies have evolved into an appropriate vehicle for practical theology and notes how congregational studies benefit the discipline of practical theology.