The Emerging Church or Emergent Church is a diffuse movement which arose in the late 20th century as a reaction to the influence of modernism in Western Christianity. The movement is usually called a “conversation” by its proponents to emphasize its diffuse nature with contributions from many people and no clearly defined leadership or direction. The emerging church seeks to deconstruct and reconstruct Christianity as they live in a postmodern culture. While the movement is very diverse, many emergents display the following characteristics:
People in the postmodern culture seek real and authentic experiences in preference over scripted or superficial experiences. Emerging churches strive to be relevant to today's culture and daily life, whether it be through worship or service opportunities. The core Christian message is unchanged but emerging churches attempt, as the church has throughout the centuries, to find ways to reach God's people where they are to hear God's message of unconditional love.
(2) Missional living
Christians go out into the world to serve God rather than isolate themselves within communities of like-minded individuals.
(3) Narrative theology
Teaching focuses on narrative presentations of faith and the Bible rather than systematic theology or biblical reductionism.
While not neglecting the study of Scripture or the love of the church, Christians focus their lives on the worship and emulation of the person of Jesus Christ.
Emergent Christians are predominantly found in Western Europe, North America, and the South Pacific. Some attend local independent churches that specifically identify themselves as being "emergent", while many others contribute to the conversation from within existing mainline denominations.