Missional vs. Attractional
The greatest debate concerning being missional is whether or not it is the best way to grow a church, specifically grow a church quickly and having it reach megachurch status (having 2,000+ attenders), since that’s what many church leaders lust for. Is it the best way to grow a church, or is using a more attractional method the best way?
It depends. If you want a large church quickly, attractional is certainly the way to go. Raise a boatload of money, spend a ton on targeted advertising (specifically to middle class white suburbanites, because they have money for offerings), deliver a dynamite show with “relevant” music and “relevant” teaching, and you’ll have a good chance at “launching large” and “growing quickly” and “overusing quotation marks” in your blog posts.
Yet, having been a part of attractional churches and church plants, I’m convinced they don’t always grow better disciples… unless disciples of Jesus show up on Sundays, give money, and attend a small group, and maybe serve for an hour at the homeless shelter. I know this isn’t always the case, but it is for many churches.
Here’s the thing… I think our focus is so far off that we’re not even hitting the outer ring of the target. We’ve become so obsessed with growing bigger churches that we’ve forgotten the fact that Jesus didn’t tell us to grow bigger churches. He called us to make disciples.
Which is the crux of what missional is all about. But with all the definitions and opinions on what missional is or isn’t, how do we make heads or tails of it?
Tomorrow, I’ll try to clear the muddy waters with what I think missional is. As the title of these posts indicate, we’ve made it way too complex. More on that tomorrow.