“Fight Club”: Training Video for Simple Church Planters? Part 3

“Fight Club” is a great training video for simple churches because:

First, it reveals so much about our culture. I wrote about this in yesterday’s post.

Second, it shows the power of a simple, networked, small community on mission.

What starts off as a club for guys to beat the crap out of each other (and thus feel like guys again) evolves into an underground, networked, spread-like-a-virus community on mission.  Granted, the mission of Project Mayhem is to take out the credit institutions that have contributed to society’s lust for things and identity-derived-from-stuff attitude (it’s really a terrorist mission), but that’s not the point.  The point is that “Fight  Club” shows the power of a community on mission–especially when it is formed organically and networked with others on common mission.

I’ve “done church” several ways.  I’ve done the church-in-a-box, big Sunday production church.  I’ve also done the simple church thing.  In my experience, simple churches who are intentional about living on mission lack something traditional churches have (in a good way):  a complicated structure that takes a lot of work to navigate and even more work to get momentum going (it’s like trying to steer the Titanic with a wooden spoon for a rudder).  A traditionally structured church cannot spread virally.  It’s totally possible for certain aspects of that church to grow virally, but not the entire thing.  A simple church, however, can spread and multiply quickly because there aren’t nearly as many moving parts.  That’s what made Project Mayhem so “successful.”  Networked pockets of missional communities (with multiplied leadership that didn’t depend on the main guy).

What do you think?

As an afterthought… my buddy Aaron pointed out that these lessons are learned from an R-rated movie.  Yes, the movie is rated R for strong violence, disturbing images, sexual situations (though these aren’t nearly as overt as one might thing for a movie like this), and strong language.  If you feel you can’t watch this movie, then by all means do not.  But recognize that God can redeem things from the popular culture.

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About Aaron

Aaron is a follower of Jesus. He's married to his smokin' hot wife Laura and is the father of three adorable girls. He enjoys a robust cigar, a complex root beer, a good movie, writing, football, thought-provoking books, and rousing discussions about subjects you're not supposed to talk about (like theology and politics). Religious people irritate him (because he once was one). He's on a quest to find the perfect dry rub and sauce for ribs.
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4 Responses to “Fight Club”: Training Video for Simple Church Planters? Part 3

  1. Michael Morris says:

    I too have seen the movie multiple times, and can agree with you conceptually. I also believe that God can redeem things from the popular culture (He did so with me), but as I was reading another blog a week or so ago, I stumbled upon this sentiment, which I’ll paraphrase.

    As many “lessons” as there are in this movie, if Jesus were to show up at your door in person, would you invite Him to sit and watch it with you?

    In what way does that movie give glory to God in your opinion?

    I can imagine at least one way in which it does (although tangentially), but I would like to hear your opinion.

    • Aaron says:

      Hey Michael,

      I totally would watch “Fight Club” with Jesus. I think this is a conscience thing, akin to Romans 14. If another Christian would come over, and wasn’t sure if watching this movie was right or not, we wouldn’t watch it. If another Christian who had decided it was wrong to watch it came over, I wouldn’t watch it–but would insist that he didn’t make it an issue (as I wouldn’t make his non-watching an issue).

      I’ll get back to you on the “glorify God” issue (my lunch break is over!). While I’m back at the ol’ grindstone, anyone else care to tackle that one?

    • Aaron says:

      Hey Michael–here’s part two (now that I’m off the clock):

      “Fight Club” glorifies God in several ways:

      First, just the sheer creativity of the movie. It was groundbreaking in it’s look and feel.

      Second, it showed our culture’s need for a savior. Sure, the savior it presented was a mentally disturbed guy intent on blowing up the financial system, but the point is that it showed the need for a savior.

      Third, like the post said, it does show us some great lessons about culture and about the power of communities on mission.

      I’m all about using pop culture to connect people with the gospel. Do we have to be discerning? Absolutely. But if (in my opinion) we refuse to glean lesson or principles from a movie or a song that drops a four letter word or has some violence in it, then we’re going to have a difficult time connecting many people who are far from God (who are also plugged into pop culture). We can totally do that and still be discerning… and we can point out the not-so-great stuff while, at the same time, showing the spiritual undertones and similarities of to the gospel.

  2. Greg says:

    Arron,

    Thanks for your insite and lessons gleamed from a great movie.

    I dont think we need to get caught up in the moral issues of rated R movies…that’s not what this blog is about.

    I am looking forward to the next installment of Fight Club church!

    G-

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