Attractional or missional?

There is too much discussion these days about how the church should “relate to the culture it is trying to influence.” With that said, I’m going to throw in my two-cents… well, not really mine but at least a “few cents” that makes sense to me!

Rick Warren, in his book The Purpose Driven Church, gives some much needed perspective.

He writes, “Some church leaders deny that attraction [i.e. “Come and see what’s going on in this building”] is a legitimate method of evangelism. I’ve heard preachers say, ‘The Bible does not tell the world to come to the church. It tells the church to go to the world.’ This is an inaccurate statement because it is only half true.”

“Of course the Bible commands Christians to ‘go and tell.’ That’s what the Great Commission is all about! Christians are not to wait for the world to come and ask us about Christ. We are to take the initiative in sharing the Good News. To believers, Jesus says, ‘Go!'”

“But to the lost world, Jesus say, ‘Come!’ […] In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said to seekers, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.’ And on the last day of the great feast, ‘Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink’ (John 7:37).

“Both ‘Go and tell’ and ‘Come and see’ are found in the New Testament.”

“We do not need to choose between ‘go’ and ‘come’; both are valid forms of evangelism. Some people will be reached by attraction, while others will be reached by confrontation. A balanced healthy church should provide opportunities and programs for both. At Saddleback [Rick Warren’s church] we use both approaches. We say, ‘Come and see!’ to our community, but to our core we say, ‘Go and tell!'”

[Paul speaking here] It’s time to stop arguing about “How”, and start getting about the task of connecting people to God through a relationship with Jesus.

Good grief! Do you realize how much time, energy, personnel, etc. is consumed by this argument alone? (click here to see the results from a Google search on “missional vs. attractional”)

Here’s my commitment…

As we launch this new church in Cincinnati, we will do whatever it takes to connect people to God through a relationship with Jesus. We will do whatever it takes without violating Scripture. We will do whatever it takes!

Andy Stanley has said, “For what’s at stake, do whatever it takes.” If we really believe that people’s destinies are at stake then for God’s sake… let’s stop whining, fussing, and fighting about whether the church should be saying “Come and see” or “Go and tell”.

Let’s create environments that people will want to “come and see” and let’s pray until we’re so fired up that we have to “go and tell” or we’ll explode!

Rant done.

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