Church Maturity
by Hugh Halter on May 1st, 2012

Today on a missional facebook link a denominational president commented on how he thought the missional movement was maturing. He referenced Mike Frost's closing session talk at Exponential and also mentioned Mike Breen who have been leading voices over the last decade.  The comment about maturing was due to both men speaking about the gathered as well as the scattered essense of the church. In other words, both men said we need everyone working together.  Agreed!!!

In the past, missional focused on sending or scattering god's people into intentional kingdom life and missional communities, and many in this movement therefore minimized the importance of the gathered church experiences.  Thus, there has been a "attractional-program-preaching-based-sunday oriented church vs. the organic, community-based, monday-saturday-focused church chasm. 

I deeply respect this denominational leader and I am glad that he noticed that some of the missional thought-leaders are not opposed to church gatherings, but I found it a bit misleading to say that the missional movement is maturing simply because of this. It felt as if the attractional church leaders view the missional ethos as immature and that they, the attractional-based leaders, are the mature ones. 

As church leaders from all sides are coming together, we must not view the 'missional' as the immature. The Missional essence, ethos, and practice is the foundation of THE CHURCH and began in Genesis and continues to this day.  In reality, the contempory church's focus on Sunday gatherings is the "new" or immature expression of Christianity, and its result or fruit as of the last century should not leave it feeling like the elder statesmen waiting for the "youngsters" to grow up. 

The thought leaders and practitioners of the ancient missional church, that is now being reborn, and that are clearly leading the church forward should not be listened to simply because they are kind to the existing attractional church. They should be listened to because the immature attractional church has left a pretty gaping hole in our culture. 

Yes, we should not deconstruct another man's approach to church or think that one way will win the day. Clearly, we do need everyone.  Those that focus on missional communities need to mature and allow for church gatherings, but the classic attractional pastor must also mature and sincerely learn how to send and scatter their people for mission.    And may the whole church grow into unity and maturity for the sake of Christ.

hugh


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2 Comments

Steve S - May 17th, 2012 at 5:15 PM
Case in point:



http://simplechurch.eu/images/uploads/The_Spontaneous_Expansion_of_The_Church.pdf



Guys like Roland Allen were saying the same things a hundred years ago. Missional is nothing new. Unfortunately, the people of God ignoring the purposes of God is nothing new either...
Heather - July 27th, 2012 at 11:53 AM
I don't like this whole them vs. us attitude. I've attended an "attractional" church for 30 years now and we do send and scatter people for Christ everyday. The truth is, yes, there may be some churches that only focus on "their" community, but -- i've never found one.
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