Archives For church philosophy and methods

Attractional 101

  • External Focus
  • Cultural Relevance
  • Priesthood of believers (every member a minister – focus on service)
  • Church as an institution

Missional 101

  • Educates and sends members out to where the people live
  • People do not come to the church, the church goes to the people
  • Church as a movement

The tone over the last many years has been one of being either or; being opposed to one another.

Transactional model of mission

  • Pay another organization to send out missionaries
  • May even have some of our people tag along for short term work
  • Based and focused on the organization

In the book of Acts, we see missions done through the local church, not an external organization.  Missional is the responsibility of the church itself.

  • We need to move from cultural relevance to cultural embedment.
  • Do we have to see church as institution and church as movement as being against each other.  The can exist together in a healthy relationship.
  • God’s Spirit empowers and gives life to both expressions of the church.

Here are some highlights from the first session with Alan:

  • The church is becoming more isolated from most people today in the US.
  • Most churches in an attractional setting are extracting people from their cultural group, which also removes their influence from Christ in their cultural setting.
  • Within 3-5 years of coming to Christ, most people are socialized out of their context and into the context of the church, which removes them from their sphere of influence.
  • 40% of the US would be interested in the Contemporary Church Growth Model.
  • That means 60% of people are alienated from the Contemporary Church Growth Model.
  • The problem? 95% of churches are trying to become like the Contemporary Church.
  • Even if every church could pull it off (by becoming a growing church in the CCGM) we would only be reaching out to 40% of the population.
  • What is church for the 60%?  What is going to reach them?  More of the same is not the answer.
  • The problems of the church cannot be resolved by the same kind of thinking that created those problems.  You cannot do the same thing over and over and expect different results.  That is the definition of organizational insanity.
  • We are living in a de-churched cultural society. Most churches do not know what to do with that. They are unsure of what they need to do different.
  • Church comes out of mission. Not the other way around.
  • We need to plant the gospel and let church come out of that


Jason Petermann  —  November 4, 2010 — Leave a comment

Missional?  Attractional?  Either or?  Both?  That is what we are discussing the next two days at Granger Community Church and the AND conference.  Hope to share some of the thoughts as we go!

I just read a post by Eric Geiger, and though I usually post my best links of the week on Fridays, this one needed a post of its own.  It is something that has resonated deep within me for quite some time.

Eric says:

Often I hear deep lamenting from pastors and staff teams about the lack of volunteer engagement in their churches. And often I have discovered that the problem is not with the people but a faulty ministry culture that fosters low levels of volunteerism and perpetuates an unhealthy dependence on clergy. The typical approach to ministry in most churches stands in stark contrast to the biblical approach given to us clearly by God.

In the type of churches I grew up in, you had to have a “Pastor” involved in everything, and if there were too many things going on for one guy to do it, you hired another “professional pastor” to help out. That totally goes contrary to the Biblical model of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry! The church in America many times forgets that everyone within the local church has been gifted to serve, and if they are not serving, the body does not function properly. If we want to see our churches grow and thrive, we need to unleash the members to do ministry!

Now, go and read the rest of the article by Eric!

This weeks quote comes from Andy Stanley and his leadership podcast that I have been listening to.  You can listen to his podcast by going to iTunes and subscribing to it.  Great stuff!  Ok, here is this weeks quote:

“The local church rarely gets serious about change until they run out of money… We’re preoccupied with paying the bills, not reaching unchurched people.  What does that make us?”

Here are my take-aways from this:

  • A church that thinks it can hold things together and stop the exodus of people by doing what they have always done is sadly mistaken.
  • Playing it safe so that you do not upset the church members that have been there a long time will not cause the church to grow.  In fact, it will sink the ship faster because no one is being reached and then change will have to come, and it will be forced change, not planned change.
  • It is much easier to plan the change yourself.  It may be difficult, and there may be some resistance, but at least it will be change you are planning and not change that is forced upon you.
  • When the focus is money and not people we will have a harder time making the necessary changes.