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now this is an interesting and noteworthy development ... I'm looking forward to read parts 2-4. :-) BTW, congrats to Tony Jones on his appointment.

James K.A. Smith

This is fabulous news. I'll be very eager to see Tony's leadership unfold. This decisions shows alot of wisdom. Blessings on the adventure.


hell yeah, for tony!


here, here! congratulations tony!


Congrats, Tony.

paul soupiset



Long overdue, Tony is the man.

Thomas McKenzie

I think we are going in a horribly dangerous direction. We aren’t becoming a “conversation,” we're becoming an institution. A “National Director?” for a conversation? Give me a break.

Hey, when does the Emergent Denomination get formalized? Which megachurch should we meet at? Do you think EMI can release "Top 10 songs of the Emergent Church" in time for Christmas?

I have a feeling we're going down the Anakin Skywalker path here, folks. But, hey, who am I?

Jay Lewis

Every conversation, movement or revloution needs a point person to keep the ship pointed True North!Good decision, looking forward to the fruit!

John Atherton

The heart of Emergent has always been relationships and therefore conversation. I see Tony as an excellent choice to develop and deepen relationships and to expand and guide the conversation.


Congrats Tony!

Steve K.

Congrats, Tony!

The saints in Charlotte, NC, will be lifting you up in prayer tonight.

Steve K.

Van S

Call me crazy, but I think the best thing for the emergent movement is for it to de-centralize and dissipate. My argument is similar to an argument made by Brian McClaren: the best thing for the Church is to decrease attendence by sending people out. The emergent movement is gaining influence. The ideas are reproducing like bunnies. I simply don't see what purpose it serves at this point to strenghten the Center. Saying that Emergent is "a conversation" when it is increasingly looking institutional isn't a good thing. Fostering conversation through a centralized conference seems to me to be a way of making sure the conversation goes in the way that a handful of leaders want it to go. Now, none of this would be a problem if the goal was to start a nation-wide association of affiliated Emergent© churches. If the goal is something more like an association or denomination, then this is a good move. But if I were trying to foster a movement that is supposed to be fluid, open, and evolving, I might start with a central discussion forum or conference (as Emergent did). But after people caught the flavor, I'd close up shop and let the movement take over. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that the only reason to bolster the organization and take advantage of new organizational networks is to manage the conversation and make sure that it develops towards a desired end-result. That isn't an inherently bad thing to do, per se, but it is no longer a conversation, and it isn't exactly a movement either. So as much as I've been growing to love the Emergent conversation, I think we should be scattering rather than strengthening the center.

Van S

But, I suppose if things are going to go in that direction, Tony is a really good choice...I'm not saying this as a nay-saying outsider. I really wonder if this is a huge mis-step. It seems like the typical driving forces of American institutionalization are at work here. The first step was brand-establishment. The second step is strenghtening the company. THe third step is usually to cut out competition and monopolize.

John  Musick


"Forward Ho!"


I have to throw my hat in with Van S on this one. And I love Tony and the conversation that has been going on through Emergent. I was excited to see us move away from the national convention mentality and thought we were on a good track, but this next step puts me off a bit. But I pray that God will bless it and work through it.

jon myers

i'll add my congrats here and also say that this is a good thing on so many levels. it is something that is needed and will help us move into the future.


Ahh, the business expands. Time to become a corporation in order to fight those other corporations. The movement takes its leaders and expands its empire now that the foolish youth have fallen for its shiny apple. ich habe Traum! The next thing to do is say that God allows you to have many wives and then go buy out Pepsi.

Dan-D from Canada

Going down the Anakin path? As long as it doesn't require all the cheesy dialogue from episode 3... what a terrible movie...

I think the concern many people will be having is that this "non-institutional" group has gone ahead and formed an institution. I think that it would be quite impossible to continue the "conversation" without an institutional framework. The challenge for emergent will be to prevent that institution from making the same mistakes as the church's previous incarnations. Any thoughts?


Not sure about this one. I definatley have mixed feelings. I think that it is very important to keep the conversation going, but I do question those that are holding the reigns. Are you willing to let go? How 'inner circle' is this inner circle? Although I enjoy all of your thoughts, in your many published books, at times the thoughts seem somewhat 'guided.' I suppose they have to be when 'convincing' others that you are right. Honestly, I will miss the emergent convention next year, but perhaps Steve K. is right. Good book though Tony! (Sacred Way) This 'stuff' isn't easy, I know that God has a hand in it and will guide it down the path it should go if we get out of the way. That is my prayer.

Wes Roberts

...adding my sincere support to those at the core of things emergent, I say let's all relax a bit, pray much, and see what the Triune God wants to make of all this. Frankly, I'm excited with Tony's stepping into a much needed role. Organisms, no matter how seemingly unstructured, still need some semblance of structure to hold on and keep changing and being alive. May the concerned and brave souls who met in Minnesota be blessed for their strength and courage in this step. I trust them...and I trust God in them to not lead any of us back to where we've been. I am confident this will be even better news in the next few years than it is on this June Tuesday in 2005. Tony...God bless you, protect you, strengthen you, and may you sense our prayers!

William Wilkie

As a 62 year old businessman, I have been observing your movement for several years. I agree that your recent organizational/leadership decision is counter intuitive. I had hoped that you would eventually discover that the business of the church is to empower people like me. I have sought the assistance of the professional staff of several churches and found them uninterested if not incapable of helping me sort out organizational and policy issues for my business assuming that my business was "holy work,"

I have a Ph.D. in organzational psych and a lot of operating experience. You will likely become preoccupied with "tinkering." It happens to almost all organizations that are driven top down. Just look at your beginnings at "Leadership Network." It about leadership, isn't it??? I think it is about servanthood not even servant-leaders.

I was hoping that Emergent would get around to discovering its role in empowering the laity (dichotomization of sacred and secular) and especially those who may be prophetically or apostolically gifted. We have been marginalized by the Body of Christ and yet I think that we are "emerging" as a force to be reckoned with in the 21st century either within or outside of the church. Since we have been operating outside the church for centuries, I guess we can continue.


Hey Emergent! You don't own this movement. So, go ahead and become an "association" (read: denomination: think Vineyard and Willow Creek). Who cares. I, for one, say to hell with your National Director, your publishing empire, your conventions, your budget, and your "conversation."

I'll emerge without you.

el mol

sweet, two popes in one year

congrats tony

Jan Powers

With no disrespect to Tony or his gifts, I might have hoped that Emergent would choose a more prophetic figure, an outsider, as first Director - someone non-white, non-male, and non-hetero.

But I'm one of those Joel women; dreaming dreams, seeing visions.

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