Indexed Thoughts-The Church Goes Missional

24 Jul


The diagram for these thoughts were inspired by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay who I believe attribute them to Reggie McNeal and Leadership Network:

The Attractional Church:
The attractional church has at the top of it a Sr. Pastor. This is an individual that makes the final calls and decisions. They weigh the evidence and make the decisions. One individual on top has a lot of power. Below them are staff members who have some say and departments and groups that they oversee. Then there are the followers who find their way into the programs and needs of this system. To be fair it is hard to find a church that is only attractional in nature. But here is a clue, look where they spend their money. Is it in sending and equipping or is it in the things that you invite people to?

Boundary of Belief: there is also a very clear boundary of belief and culture. For someone on the outside to express an interest in Christianity they have to learn a coded language. The outside world often has to act like a missionary to understand the Christian story. Good attractional churches break down complex subjects and encourage people to dress casually. But the primary way of a person outside the faith to interact with the faith is to decide whether they want to or are ready to believe.

The Missional Church:
The Missional Church doesn’t suggest that the pyramid turn upside down making the Sr. Pastor the lead servant and the staff servants who create religious products for consumers. The Missional church suggests that we need a new Sr. Pastor, Jesus. The role of the lead pastor/elder community and staff isn’t necesasrily to create programs but to empower the saints to follow Jesus.

The Saints: the saints are the ones that we hold accountable. Often Christians are hard on those outside of Christ and don’t hold those who profess belief to a standard of imitating Jesus. The saints are the ones who are repeatedly said over and over in the scriptures to be “in Christ” and so we hold them to that.

The Sojourners: the sojourners are the ones that are interested in the Christians story. The dotted circle represents that they aren’t held accountable. They can sleep with whoever or whatever they want and can believe that Oprah is God’s prophet. We don’t care. We don’t expect people who are not Christians to act like Christians or believe like Christians.

The Overlap: the overlap is the place where Sojourners and Saints interact. The reason that Saints are held to such a high standard is because they are a modeling community. We don’t want to be seeker sensitive. While we don’t hold sojourners accountable we want them to know exactly what they are getting into if they yes to Jesus. We want them to see discipleship demonstrated. By creating spaces for people to “belong before they believe”.


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