Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Church as we know it... Gone?

As I continue to read Len Sweet's new book "So Beautiful" I am encouraged by the fact that God is up to something new and exciting in His Church. While old paradigms are being dismantled God seems to be erecting new ones that are biblically based and socially relevant. God is definitely pushing the reset button on the Church. NICE!

Sweet says, that "Postmodern culture is an anti-Christian culture. If you are reading these words then you are likely the last generation to be familiar with the Christian story and for whom churches have cultural significance. And you will die leaving behind a culture for whom the Christian story will be completely unknown. This requires not only a new ability to tell the story but also a fresh way to re frame the story for a sinless society" (referring to a society where people do not see themselves as sinners).

God is up to something and WHFC must be a part of it or she will be marginalized and ineffective by cultural change. The goal of our pastoral leadership is to be MRI in focus: Missional, Relational and Incarnational in order to remain effective for the glory of God. MRI can be defined as "Going out, living with and engaging people where they are at, and emulating Jesus to them." It will be emphasized from our pulpit, be the matrix of our administration, taught in our educational classes, and developed in our social/relational agenda.

What about the ABC's (Attendance, Buildings and Cash)? God is in the process of dismantling this paradigm across America so does that mean they are going away? I think many will, at least for the congregations that focus more on the ABC's rather than the MRI.

Much like WHFC other churches will be forced to rethink the use of their facility and why they do what they do. Until our $5 million dollar mortgage is dismissed we will need to generate different streams of revenue with our facility. The day care will need to expand, our school will need to grow and use more of the facility M-F. We need other ministries and organizations utilizing our space in the evening. We must become an attractive people to the community offering space and service to meet their needs rather than soliciting people for an attractional agenda designed to sit them in the pews and place their cash in the offering plates.

God is up to something at WHFC. Over the next few months and years our leadership will foster change in order to stay in step with Jesus. The means to growth at WHFC is to identify and meet people's real needs so they can develop relationally with Jesus Christ. That is the Christian story emulated by the life and teachings of our Lord in the Gospels.

What say you? Will you help us repackage the Christian story? Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Very clear, concise posts this week. Very stimulating. I forgot about Sweet's writting until a few weeks ago when Greg considered Abraham's 'potential failure' relationally.