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Church Planting Lessons - Part D

13 February, 2004 4:39 PM

This is part 4 in the series of 'Lessons' I've been learning having being part of planting the Livingroom over the past year. Also Read Part A, Part B, Part C , Part E and Part F.
6. Incarnation - I've already hinted in the last point that we're interested in different cultural groups. This is not because we want to keep people separate from each other (I hope that the different clusters that emerge our of Living Room will meet together regularly and be involved in a variety of activities in partnership) but because our approach to mission and church is incarnational.

Christ gave us a model for mission - he came and made himself a part of humanity - in particularly a culture within the human race. He learnt the language of that culture and operated from within the rhythms of it. This is an approach I believe we can take as we look at the different cultural groups in our midst. For us this is quite accentuated as I live in a very multicultural city with many ethnic and sub cultural groups. Mission (and then church) will look different in each of these groups as it takes seriously the culture. In the same way that we respect and work within the culture in overseas contexts when we do mission (these days) we should also respect and work within the subcultures we move in here in Melbourne.

Instead of converting people and dragging them from their host culture back into the church (where they will become like us) - the Incarnational approach is to GO into the world and make disciples there.

7. Sending vs Attractional approach - Central in the idea of incarnation is 'going'. Churches often take a very 'attractional' approach to mission. They say things like - 'if we just tweak what we do or look like more people will come'. If the band plays a different style music, if the car park is bigger, if the foyer is a warmer color, if our preaching is better - people will come.

I'm not sure how biblical this is. Christ said - GO into all the world and make disciples where you find them. Of course the 'attractional' models do 'work' with a certain percentage of the population - but I think in Australia this percentage is shrinking. I'm excited that more and more churches are gathering 'in the world' rather than hoping that the world will come to them.

Comments

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Darren. Good stuff. I'm following your reflections intently...much to warm my ecclesiological heart. Thanks for getting it 'out there'.

Paul » 14 February, 2004 5:59 AM

Likewise. You've opened the possibility to me of starting a second group, even though we haven't really added anyone to the first group - maybe we need a different format to reach different people.

Justin Baeder » 15 February, 2004 8:03 AM

Hey, I just found this post...and went back to "step A". Lol!

Well, I want to thank you again for the detailed response! Good advice that! It will likely end up being extremely useful.

Btw, is Ignition avaible in hard copy/print form?

Thanks again, Darren!!

Rich » 15 February, 2004 8:57 AM

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