The article describes Emerging Churches as a 21st century phenomenon. Emerging churches are not a new denomination, but are experimental forms of church life, found in all denominations; formulating and living Christian faith in a post-modern world. The importance of emerging churches is that they serve as risk-taking prototypes, researching ways of being a relevant church and expressing faith in a current language. Serving older churches with new insights which they can consider. They are a new expression of church. Emerging churches should be understood in terms of their strong missional orientation - even to the extent that they should rather be called emerging missional churches. The emerging movement is missional in the sense that they are seeking what changes God is doing in this world. They become missional by participating with God, in the redemptive work God is doing in a changing world. This missional understanding is profoundly influenced by David Bosch's elaboration of the concept of the Missio Dei: the understanding that the very life of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a process of mission. Emerging Churches are a new expression of church - Christians who are doing what they can to get the church back in line with the kingdom vision of Jesus. Part 2 will describe and elaborates on core practices of emerging missional churches.