Monthly Archives: May 2008

Who are we reaching?

About a week ago I read an excellent post by David Fitch on his blog.  It was titled “The Emerging/Missional Church – ‘They don’t have converts’ Why Mark Driscoll misses the point”.

He was responding to the criticism of Driscoll that emerging and missional churches do not have converts, or they have very few.  As many people know, emerging/Emergent/missional are all buzz words floating around the blogosphere, books, conferences and many other places.  So if his critique is correct then there needs to be some serious reflections about the effectiveness of these movements/conversations.

David Fitch takes this up, along with Brother Maynard, and analyzes and compares the missional church movement, Emergent, and the “Drisconian megachurch.”  He does an excellent job pointing out the differences between the three and where Driscoll “misses the point.”  Here is a short synopsis:

1.  Emergent is not looking for converts.  That is not to say there aren’t any, but he points out that Emergent is more of a reform movement.

2.  Missional churches are incarnational.  Meaning it takes a long time living among people before there are converts, much like a missionary in a foreign country.  Many of these converts have no church background and did not grow up in church.  They also tend to be small.  Driscoll’s church, however, is a mega church and attracts many people who grew up in church and fell away or former Catholics.  Fitch argues that converts in terms of percentages, rather than numbers, is a much more accurate measurement (if it must be measured).  Therefore, neither approach is necessarily wrong, they are just reaching different people.

I highly recommend checking out Fitch’s post and the ensuing conversation in the comments, especially if anything I said was unclear.

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Small Group

On Thursday nights Amber and I have been leading a young twentysomethings small group.  This past week was probably one of our best discussions/studies/whatever you want to call it.  It was wonderful to have Brad, our SG pastor, and so many new friends there!  They all really brought a lot to the table!  The lesson was on substitutionary atonement (sa) and it quickly traced the beginnings of it in the Garden to the ultimate sa in Jesus.  What was so great about it was that we kept questioning/exploring things that we would normally take for granted.  Stuff like “What does justice really mean?.”  Wasn’t what Jesus did more than justice?  Something beyond and greater than justice?  We ended up agreeing that grace and mercy is more than justice.  Therefore, Jesus sacrifice cannot simply be categorized as only/just an act of justice, but is much more than that.  Since that night the words of Donald Miller in Searching for God Knows What keep whispering to me, “Christ’s death, again, was not a technicality by which we are covered with grace, but rather a passionate and inconceivable act of kindness and altruism and love stemming from God’s desire to be reunited with His creation.”

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