Last time I talked about the mistakes I think the missional and emerging churches are making: the same mistakes made by previous paradigms that are being replaced, and are continuing to be made by this idea of either/or rather than both/and. In my next several blogs I’m going to illustrate exactly what I mean with the three distinctions I’ve read and heard made.
One of the false contrasts I think that exists is that we should move from an attractional model to a missional model; that we should be less concerned with people coming to church as we are the people going to be the church.
Am I the only one who realizes it takes both? One doesn’t exist without the other. There is no going church without a gathering church.
Not the least of which, this de-emphasis on attractional, or come, or gather is in direct disobedience to the command of Christ when he told us to go out and compel people to come in so that his house may be filled. It ignores the fact that all the way through the Bible, God’s people have been gathering people. They gather to worship. And the gathering to worship is (God help us) an end in itself, worthy to be done for the act of it all in and of itself.
The other interesting idea is that this false dichotomy between attractional and missional assumes that the only people who gather in our churches are Christians. I reinstate my protest. The church of Jesus Christ is not just for Christians. It’s for people. It’s for both Christian and non-Christian. Just look at the book of Hebrews. Most traditional interpretations understand this to be a synagogue that was filled with more unbelievers than believers. And yet they were able to come side-by-side in an act of worship, on their way to salvation.