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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One response to “Who are we reaching?

  1. I guess what I would be concerned with is the definition of “converts”. If you are saying someone that said a prayer once and is now plugged in to a small/cell/sunday school/group then yes, the emergent church is lacking. I would tend to say my way of looking at this has changed quite a bit. I tend to look at all people as on a journey and discovering the bigger story around them. Some people are on different parts of the journey than I am, and some people are helping lead me in the journey. I think that we can both agree that salvation isn’t this one time deal like we’ve always been taught. I’m still not 100% on what this looks like, and maybe I never will be. I guess my hope is for the day that the band Sleeping At Last sings about, “When Heaven meets the earth there will be no use for numbers to measure who you are and what you’re worth.”
    It’s still good be evaluating this movement we call emergent as a means to move beyond terms to become people who desire to see the kingdom more present on earth. Good stuff man!

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