For the last several years (that I’ve noticed anyway), an argument has been raging among Christians (and ministry leaders) about whether our churches should be “attractional” or “missional”. The attractional camp throws their stage lights at the missional camp and the missional camp throws their Toms shoes at the attractional camp. We’ve been shaking our fists at each other for far too long.
Can we stop now? Please?!?
What neither camp seems to recognize (or admit) is that Jesus’ ministry was (in keeping with current terminology) both “attractional” and “missional”. In other words Jesus ABSOLUTELY drew a crowd, and Jesus ABSOLUTELY sent people out in His name, for His Kingdom, and on His mission. Another, more succinct way to put it is that as followers of Jesus, we need to recognize the invitation Jesus gives today to “come and see”; see what Jesus is about, see how people worship Him, see (and taste) the goodness of God and fellowship with those who call Him Lord. And we need to equally recognize the call for His followers to “go and be”; be the agents of grace He has shown us how and told us to be. Be the unashamed lovers of God and love those around you with His kind of love. Be the salt of your community and the light of your world. Come & See, Go & Be.
So if you’re part of a group that snubs its nose at traditional churches, and you meet in an open meadow thinking that churches like Northpoint and Saddleback and LifeChurch shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, then quite honestly you need to check your heart. And likewise if you think that people are just clawing at the church building doors to get in and that’s how it should be, then you need to check the current stats (no claw marks on church doors) and then re-read the Gospels and especially the book of Acts.
Whatever you do, please STOP arguing over “Attractional vs. Missional”. You’re actually hurting the work we’re called to do for the Kingdom.