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(Session 3 was a breakout session)

  • Matt says he is not yet ready to totally throw out the attractional model of church because it is still able to reach some people that will not be able to be reached otherwise.  It is also able to do some things that smaller gatherings are unable to do.
  • But, there is something missing in the attractional only model.  There is a growing restlessness among the church laity.
  • For far to long, we have told the masses to come to us and we will fill your needs, we will feed you, we will make you feel comfortable.
  • The laity is restless wondering when they get to get in the fight.
  • We can grow another 3000 people as a church, but if we do that, nothing really changes in the city.  We do not make a difference there.
  • What if instead of growing 3000 more people, we release 3000 people to leave the church and go to the city.
  • Jesus was not make a very good mega-church pastor.  Every time he drew a croud, He ran them off.  It was not His ministry style to gather people, but to work with 12 and send them out.
  • What if it is possible to both attract people and send them out?
  • Matt does it with his church in what they call missional communities.
  • Not just small groups, but groups getting on mission to reach their communities for Christ.
  • They have done three things to make this happen:

o   Change the definition of success for small groups.

o   Train them to be missionaries to their communities.

o   Change the bar as far as what God is able to do through them.

  • After that, you have to let them go to actually be the church.

This is one you have to listen to if it gets posted online at!

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!

Quotable Tuesday

Jason Petermann  —  October 26, 2010 — Leave a comment

This weeks’ quote is from Seth Godin on his blog.  It is probably one of the best I have read on change

“People who fear they will be hurt by a change speak up immediately, loudly and without regard for the odds or reality. People who will benefit from a change don’t believe it (until it happens), so they sit quietly. And that’s why change in an organization is difficult.”

Translate that to the church:

  • You get push-back about making change from those who fear that it will replace what they like and are comfortable with (Usually based on a preference).  They will push back immediately, loudly and without regard for the reality that their church needs to change or it will die.
  • You get inaction by those who want the change.  They will not help or give to make it work. But they will let you know their opinion about it.

And that’s why change in a church is difficult!