Went to a thoughtprovoking and inspiring mini conference today with Scott Pilgrim from Crossover Aust. and Kevin Keegan from Dural Baptist Church in Sydney. They spoke of the challenges facing Pastors trying to move congregations from maitenance mode to mission mode.
Scott also entered into the ‘attractional vs incarnational’ debate. What he had to say was informed and interesting. Scott stated this, “Missional churches are incarnational by nature… and yet authentically attractional in building faith community.” In other words it is not one or the other, but both. As I interact with some from the emerging church context, it seems to me that really we are talking about what we are doing, rather than why. And this to me seems to be a question of balance. I like what Scott was saying, we need to be incarnational, and our programs and services need to be attractive.

4 thoughts on “Pilgrim”

  1. ummm…

    no… i don’t think I want to get into this debate again 🙂

    ok I will!

    First up – i agree that it is never as simple as either / or.

    However perhaps where we differ is in where we invest our primary energies?

    We would see the primary investment of time being in the local community among people we live near to.

    I would suggest that the primary investment of time for many local churches is still in the Sunday event and in the activities which draw people to it.

    So while we will have a worship gathering that is ‘attractive’ it does not function as being ‘attractional’.

    Does that make sense?

    I do think there are some fundamental differences – that I am not looking to fight over.

    My issue is that when people say ‘we’re all doing the same stuff’ they really do miss the essence of what we are on about.

    I actually don’t have a beef with ‘the church’ at all, but I do find it frustrating that people seem to want to minimise our differences when they actually do exist.

    I would rather accept the differences, bless one another and just get on with the job!

    Thank God for diversity and for iron sharpening iron.

    Thanks for being willing to enagge in the conversation and not stand afar off throwing rocks 🙂

    Again – i would affirm we are all seeking the same outcomes, ‘making disciples’, but our philosophy and approach may be quite divergent

  2. I dont think we are all doing the same stuff. I just think the differences are not as great as what seems to be portrayed in some quarters.
    There certainly seems to be a reaction against an emphasis in worship services as being how we define church, and I understand this, and appreciate the reasons behind it. Getting an Aussie male to sing, “I love Jesus” is a stretch. However in some very missional churches, and I would hope Bedford would be one of these, the leadership is much more interested and excited at what is going on in what I would class as incarnational ministries, than on song choice for sunday am. Maybe what I am hoping is that what some of what you guys are saying will bring a much needed redress to more ‘normal’ church. Sometimes I wonder if churches have used having an ‘excellent’ church service as an excuse to forget about living and sharing their faith, in the same way as some others use supporting overseas mission as a salve to their guilt of neglecting local mission.

    Having said all that, I still think there is a need and a place for attractive and relevant ‘church services’ even for that Aussie male. We just have to work harder and smarter at making them relevant. Look at what Rob Bell does in his church for instance.

  3. No doubt about that mate,
    what would be interesting is to hear some of the journeys of some of these type of community planters, and what has made them go these different routes

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