I am a bit over the ‘incarnational / attractional debate’ and find myself yawning most days when it is raised, however this article highlights the dangers of simply doing whatever it takes to pull a crowd. If the aim of the game is to get more punters in the house on Sunday then why not attract them with the offer of a free house?… What the?…
FWIW Justin has done a good job comparing three different forms of evangelism – the confrontational, attractional and incarnational. Yes yes… I know these are not mutally exclusive etc etc… but what he does is actually highlights the strenghts and weaknesses of each mode.
I have always said that the way we (upstream) are choosing to approach things has some inherent weaknesses – because every system does – but as I look at the options, the ‘missionary’ approach to developing a church community (which is not neccesarily exclusively incarnational) is the one that I believe has the most currency theologically.
Yes its slow in its start up, but it does avoid the temptation to simply put on a better show so the crowds will come. Local Perth folks may be interested in the reflections of Andrew Dowsett on his time here in the land of Oz. Andrew is no mug and has some interesting observations from the point of view of one looking in from the outside. (I haven’t agreed with all of his thoughts – but I appreciated the way he put them out there)
Next year will be interesting in Brighton as we get another new church moving in. The Apostolic crew will be here as of April and they will be doing essentially the same kind of stuff as the Anglicans and the AOGs. I dropped in to see one of the church plant team yesterday – a really nice bloke – and I hope it goes well for them – but that will make 3 small churches all doing very much the same thing in this community alone and it will inevitably make competition for ‘market share’ fairly rigorous!
While I respect the leaders in these different churches – one has become a very good friend this year – and appreciate that their call is from God, whatever form it takes, I not at all convinced that Australia simply needs more of the same in the realm of church forms.
My mantra for a long time has been ‘many kinds of churches for many kinds of people’.