Charlie Wear (publisher) is a lawyer living with his wife Loretta, in Moreno Valley, CA. In the mid-90s, he was the Senior Pastor of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Moreno Valley and served as an Area Pastoral Coordinator and Church Planting Coordinator in the Association of Vineyard Churches. Most recently, he worked with a team reaching out to teens to twenty-somethings and their parents through skateboarding. Recently he was working with Steve Sjogren’s ministry in the area of web communications. He has three children, four step-children and three grandsons and three granddaughters.
Scott Bane (associate publisher and editor) is the husband of Sheryl and father of Ben, Luke, Ethan and Aisling. They live in Northwest Indiana and are trying to build something that is all about mission and community. To pay the bills he works for an online school.
Bob Hyatt (contributing editor) is the lead pastor of the the evergreen community, an emerging church community in Portland, OR. More importantly he is the husband of Amy and the father of Jack, Jane and Josie. For the last two years he has been the editor of Next-Wave.
Please direct all Next-Wave contacts:
Next-Wave c/o Charles Wear, publisher
charleswear [at] gmail.com
27381 Cottonwood Ave.
Moreno Valley, CA. 92555 U.S.A
Malcolm Hawker (web designer) and his wife, Linda, live in Sydney, Australia, with their three children.
To bring together Christians from all walks of life, including pastors, church planters and leaders across denominational and national borders, who want to reach out to people in postmodern culture, and who understand that, in order to do so, significant changes need to be made in the way we run and organize our churches.Next-Wave wants to explore new ways, discuss them, study them. Next-Wave is a place where any person, pastor, planter or leader can contribute. Discuss your strategy, raise your questions, list your objectives, explain your experiments, and share your stories with us!
The following is the Nicene Creed. It was formulated in A.D. 325 in Nicea, as an attempt to bring clarity about what Christians actually believed. While over the ages Christians have unfortunately fallen out over a variety of issues, this creed has often been a good rallying point for Christians.
“We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
Concerning the church and culture
All over the world there is a growing awareness that the world has entered a postmodern era. All around us the effects of this change are visible: in the media, movies, the courts, politics, psychology and religion.
All over the world people are experiencing this change in worldview. Confronted with many different races, worldviews and lifestyles, many people don’t know what to believe anymore, and instead adopt a lifestyle in which they pursue personal happiness.
The change in context is not leaving the world unaffected. There are many believers who feel these changes are not good, and some have adopted a defensive attitude, extolling the blessings of the good old days, and resisting the new with all the power they can muster.
But the reality is that ours is a pluralistic society, and whichever way we go from here, going back is not an option. The church must learn to live and breathe in the postmodern world, and find ways to be the agent of change that Christ called her to be.
Jesus called us to ‘make disciples of all nations’, and to ‘teach everyone what he had commanded’ (Matt 28:18-20). But just how do we do that in the postmodern world? How do we reach people with God’s message? How do we communicate God’s love to people? How does one make an intelligible appeal for people to turn their lives over to God?
In recent years many people have started noticing the changes in society. A few pioneers have gone ahead, seeking to forge new trails. Some have attended seminars and conferences, and others have read books and articles. But relatively little has happened thus far, because all of us are starting at this from ground zero. The new landscape is like nothing we have seen before, and it takes time to find your path.
Across the world people are exploring new ways. They share the conviction that we will have to substantially change the way we do church to be relevant to the postmodern era. In short, we are expecting a new wave of (new) churches. Churches that will be faithful to theword of God, and faithful in carrying out our God-given mission, to reach the present culture with the life-changing message of JesusChrist.
What is missing between these explorers and pioneers is a sense of connection. Two people can be struggling to develop the same sort of strategy without any knowledge of each other. Next-Wave web magazine exists to bring like-minded people together. Our desire is to provide a forum where we can share ideas, thoughts, strategies, theological insight and friendship. You may be a pioneer in your location, or in your denomination, but there are others like you out there, and you can meet them here.
Modernism is giving way to Postmodernism, and the results of this change in worldview can be viewed in just about every discipline and area of life. Postmodernism is a worldview, and it changes the way people perceive, themselves, God, reality, truth, Religion, leadership, institutions, society, etc.
Everywhere Christians are discovering that strategies that were successful in bringing people to Christ 10 or 20 years ago, have little or no use anymore. Instead, they realize, there is a need for new approaches, new methods, new strategies. All over the world people are exploring new ways. Some are successful, some are not. In the process of exploration, very often, we are confronted with ourselves, with our beliefs, with our worldviews.
This is a time of re-calibration, re-focusing, re-thinking, and usually of profound paradigm shifts. One could compare it to a slow-motion earthquake. The landscape is changing, the ground is trembling beneath our feet, and our certainty is disappearing fast.
All too often we are unaware that others are experiencing the same thing we are. If we could connect, share our experiences, pool our wisdom, and stand together, we would be better equipped for the challenge before us.
Our desire is not to rescue people from the grips of postmodernism.We suspect postmodernism has as much or as little in common with Christianity as Modernism did. Our desire is to see people enter arelationship with Jesus Christ, receive his forgiveness, enter into community with the saints, worship in ways that are meaningful to them,and reach out to others in their world.
Ten Years of Next-Wave
|In the Summer of 1998 I discovered the Internet as a means of communication. No, I didn’t “invent” the internet like Al Gore claimed. Prior to that summer, I knew there were services called Compuserve and America Online, but I didn’t know how the internet worked, or that it could be used as a means of communication. What I did know is that I wanted to do something to encourage and support ministry to the emerging generations.
I was raised in a denominational church. This particular group had a legalistic bent. When my first marriage failed, I began a spiritual journey that eventually brought me to the pastorate of a Vineyard church. Along the way I became interested in church growth theory and church planting. A father of four teenagers, I also became concerned that the church was doing little to avoid the mistakes it had made with my generation.
By and large, the church missed the baby-boomer generation. Permissive parenting styles, situational ethics and increased experimentation with recreational drugs created an atmosphere where no religious practice was more common than nominalism. The “don’t trust anyone over 30″ generation certainly didn’t trust the church to solve their spiritual “issues.” New age religion abounded in the “age of Aquarius.”
When this environment was coupled with authoritarian leadership styles, traditional church liturgies, and an unwillingness to listen to the real concerns of my generation, the result, in most cases, was a massive exodus from mainline denominations and Catholicism, particularly in North America. Europe was already post-Christian. While the third-world was experiencing a pentecostal awakening, there were few bright spots on the North American church scene.
The Jesus People movement that spawned the Calvary Chapels, the Vineyards, the Hope Chapels and some of the largest congregations in the history of Christendom, while heartening, did not truly penetrate the heart of my generation. As one of those who had left the church and then returned in my late 30′s I did not see a lot being done to strategically target and communicate the gospel in a meaningful way to, what I thought of, as generation-X.
With these thoughts in mind I approached a friend of mine, Rogier Bos, and asked him to edit a web magazine to deal with these issues. When I first talked with Rogier, the term postmodern was not on my radar. I had seen John Wimber lecture on the cycles of a movement. As he drew twenty-year waves on a whiteboard, it struck me that with every generation God was calling another wave of leaders to reach the world with his message. I told Rogier we would call the web magazine, Next-Wave, and he took it from there.
I had become acquainted with Rogier Bos while he interned at a nearby church. Rogier is a native of the Netherlands. He was also a fledgling web designer and a student of the postmodern cultural shift that had already affected Europe and was beginning to be an important topic of conversation in the North American church. Rogier’s calling was to participate in God’s plans for church planting in Europe. He set the course that Next-Wave has followed for the last eight years.
As he wrote in the inaugural issue: “Next-Wave is a web magazine for leaders about ministry and church in the 21st century, or postmodern era. Our goal is to connect pioneers, and to become a place to exchange insights, stories, pieces of wisdom, questions, models, experiences and strategies.”
With a background in publishing a local weekly newspaper in the early 70s, I was unprepared for Next-Wave’s eventual reach. It cost me hundreds of dollars to print 3000 newspapers and deliver them to the local community on a weekly basis in 1972. Next-Wave was available to millions of readers on every continent for a cost of less than $100 per month.
Rogier received a small stipend during the months that he created and edited Next-Wave. When he and Sophie returned with their family to the Netherlands to begin their ministry with Christian Associates International, the press of family life, the move, starting a new ministry position and a new business made it impossible for him to continue editing Next-Wave.
Next-Wave has been created by the participation of its contributors. The first contributing editor, David Hopkins, became its most prolific author (22 articles) and the second editor of Next-Wave. David began writing for Next-Wave while he was still a student at Texas A&M. In his early 20s, David carried his responsibilities with Next-Wave while he held his first high school English teaching job, wrote his first play, became engaged and then married to his wife, Melissa.
I became acquainted with Next-Wave’s next editor, Jason Evans, when I received his article, the Church at Matthew’s House. Jason is one of the emerging practitioners of the “simple” church movement. He created an extensive editorial team, transitioned Next-Wave to a new collaborative editing software environment, and is as passionate as I am about seeing new churches planted to reach the emerging generations.
Bob Hyatt first wrote for Next-Wave in July, 2003. The events surrounding the publication of that article served to launch Bob into the adventures of church planting. He is the founding pastor of Evergreen Community in Portland, Oregon and edited Next-Wave from October 2006 to September 2008.
In between the editorial tenures of Rogier Bos, David Hopkins and Jason Evans, I have fulfilled both the publishing and editorial roles with Next-Wave. While, up until June 2005 when we came under the steady hand of web designer, Malcolm Hawker, our design has always been pretty funky, our content has always been challenging. Each of the Next-Wave editors have been involved in blogging, to one degree or another. Each of us have written our observations about what we see God doing, particularly in the North American mission field. Some of the writing is theological, a lot of it is practical.
There have been a number of significant contributors to Next-Wave over the years. Stephen Shields, Jordon Cooper, Andrew Jones, Todd Hunter, Brenda Seefeldt, Mike Riddle, Mike Morell, Dan Kimball, and many others, too numerous to mention come to mind. All of Next-Wave’s authors have made their contributions freely. I think this is a symbol of the true spirit of the emerging church, the desire to freely give, that others might receive.
I remember the good old days pretty well. When I am willing to be honest with myself I realize they weren’t that “good.” However, there was a period when I was in the learning and discovering phase of an entire new area of thinking and doing. I was devouring material on church planting, church growth and evangelism. I was learning how to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. For me these good old days ran from about 1990 to 1995. It was in the late fall of 1995 that my voyage of discovery led me to become a pastor. It was really an accident. I often look back to that Spirit-orchestrated event and wonder what it was all about.
I have written about those three years at other times, but if they were dreams, they were of the nightmare quality. Ultimately all of these things crashed and since about 1998 I have been rebuilding, my psyche, and my vocation. Around that time, in the fall of 1998, I got clear instructions about my ministry activities for the next season and those have borne the predicted fruit.
Another quote from the Tim Stevens post:
I think it is fair to say that I learned this lesson early. Next-Wave is an outgrowth of that learning. For the next few years I will be joining the readers of Next-Wave in learning from Scott Bane, Next-Wave’s new editor. Scott is one of the new generation of practitioners who are trying to figure out what it means to follow Jesus in our day and age.
A father of four, Scott, and his wife Sheryl, give me a lot of hope for the future of Christianity. I met Scott a couple of years ago when I was working with Steve Sjogren and his publishing and web activities. Scott embodies all of the leadership qualities I wish I had at his age. He is generous and willing to serve and he is smart. He is listening hard for the voice of the Holy Spirit in his life. He is a good friend. I can’t wait to see what happens with Next-Wave under his leadership.
I must take time to thank Bob Hyatt for serving Next-Wave as editor over the last two years. For those of you who don’t check in at bob’s blog, he is lead pastor of a faith community in Portland, Oregon. From all I read he is an attentive father and husband and has an “apostolic” heart to see new expressions of faith started throughout his city and the US. His insights into the life of a practicing church planter and pastor have been helpful to many readers of Next-Wave over the last couple of years. Editing Next-Wave is a labor of love. It is a “pay-free” position. I think the true thanks for Bob will come someday when he can see clearly the influence his words and efforts have had for the kingdom.
And so, on the tenth anniversary of Next-Wave, with a mega-article from Stephen Shields derived from indepth interviews with a number of outstanding emerging church voices, I look forward with confidence to see what God will be doing in the next ten years of Next-Wave.
Charlie Wear, Next-Wave publisher, is a lawyer practicing in Southern California where he lives with his wife Loretta and son Benjamin.