Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What I've Learned From Church Planting, Part Two

One of the religious blogs that I follow, well, religiously, is the blog by Bob Hyatt, an evangelical church planter in Portland, Oregon. For those who think that all American evangelicals are all like James Dobson, you will be surprised. (But then, there are many types of evangelicalism out there.)

Bob is revisiting some old posts from 2006 and he talks about "Burger King Christianity," or trying to make church attractive to people. He writes:

...the goal is not to pack a room, and it's not the Pastor's job to get your friends saved. And shame on any pastor whose model allows people to think it is...The attractional model of church is perfectly designed to create consumers of church rather than covenant community... Give them (newcomers) the option/responsibilty of creating a community that makes sense to them, that works for them. Still individualistic? Sure... We're not saying that church should just be "This is what we offer- take it or leave it." But when we make allowances for individualism in healthy ways like creating open source community and allowing people to have a hand in shaping what happens, rather than the unhealthy ways of trying to figure out what it is people want and then working like crazy to give it to them, I think we end up creating more covenant communities and less consumers. And when we call people to create a community that not only works for them but for those around them as well...

When I think about Community of Grace, I think we worked too hard in trying to make CoG attractive and not about making a community and allowing people to have a role in fashioning this. It was there buzzing around in the back on my mind, but the whole jist and thrust was about getting butts in the seats.

I'm still thinking about this. More to come...

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