I was reading the Emerging UMC blog this morning and found a link to a thought provoking article at another blog (The Attractional vs Missional Debate) concerning whether the church is called to be "attractional" versus "missional."
In other words, do we design worship services and programs to attract the un-churched to our church so we can share the gospel to them or do we go out to them and share the gospel through our actions as well as our words?
Since the Church is God's Sent Out People and Christ's primary commands to his disciples were commands to follow him and to go . . . not stay and wait for folks to come to them, it seems to me that our responsibility is to go to them. If that is true then we also have to readdress the goal of worship and preaching. If we are to go to the un-churched, then being seeker friendly is less important than teaching the churched how to be disciples in the world. It also means that the goal of preaching should be the formation of Christian disciples who go out in the world to declare the gospel through words and actions at work, at school, in the playground, on the golf course, at the soup kitchen, and in the voting booth. In other words, preachers preach to the baptized and the baptized preach to the unbaptized!
Now that doesn't mean we can't be seeker friendly in the process or as the blogger states, "Don’t mistake not being attractional for not being attractive." We still need to make our services hospitable to those who are less than familiar with the language and actions of worship. But the primary emphasis should be on instruction rather than attraction.
What do you think?