What Are You Missing?
It was an unusually warm, sunny, winter day in northern Indiana. For some time we wanted to visit Springdale Church in a neighboring city. When we learned they offered a Saturday service at 5 p.m., it was an easy decision.
We discovered worship at Springdale is “white hot,” as our Church Doctor Consultants call it. We’ve learned this terminology from our annual excursions to England, introducing North Americans to the strategic elements of that move of God. White hot worship is engaging, relevant to the audience, biblically grounded, friendly, joyful, and challenging toward spiritual growth. “Here’s a church that can reach this community,” I thought.
The pastor’s message was strong on Scripture and application. He did a good job of answering the two questions every worshipper is asking: “So what? Now what?” However, in the context of worship, it became clear: This church is focused on an “attraction” strategy. The emphasis was entirely on “invite someone to church.”
Admittedly, Springdale’s emphasis on inviting is a step up from many churches caught in inward-focus, a friendly country club—with little emphasis on outreach. The limited strategy for Springdale omitted the element that moves God’s work from growth to exponential explosion: turning the church inside out.
Inside out is a several step reorientation to mission strategy:
- Inviting others to church is great, if they are clearly ready and are seeking a church.
- Bringing people to church recognizes the power of the Christian movement: relationships. It is one important element of an effective strategy to reach those who have drifted from faith.
- Taking church to people is the way God blesses the exponential growth of the Kingdom. It requires a worldview shift: church is not a destination. It is a training center and launch pad.
- Those far from God are not viewed as an extreme challenge, but a unique opportunity.
The primary mission objective is to equip new Christians to disciple others, equipping them to reach out to their own social networks. Those who have been far from God usually live in a network of non-Christian friends. This provides the opportunity for explosive Kingdom growth.
This is excerpted from the January/February Church Doctor Report – Turning Your Church Inside Out: What Are You Missing?.
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.