Archives For Attractional

Post-Christendom Missional AttractionalSo far in this series, I have touched on Posture and Perspectives in Post-Christendom. At the close of the “Perspectives” post, I argued, “I believe there has been a considerable shift over the past decade (or two) toward paganism where the majority of non-Christians today are ignorant, indifferent, and militant.” In this post, I want to elaborate on the two paradigms for engaging non-Christians in Post-Christendom.

The Attractional Paradigm

During the times of Christendom and its decline, the attractional paradigm enjoyed much success. It was a time when the majority of non-Christians in culture found Christianity relevant and were quite conversant from a cultural standpoint. Christianity was looked upon favorably by the many, and churches seemed to engage the “unchurched Harry and Mary“. The attractional paradigm saw the rise of the seeker-sensitive movement, where a large focus of the church’s mission was to get non-Christians to “come and see” through the church event what Christianity was about. Missiologists call this a “centripetal” movement where the draw is toward the center, namely the Sunday morning event/experience.

The attractional paradigm found ways to reach the non-Christians through a focus on relevance and pragmatism. The event focused on “the experience” wherein the message would have relevance to the most pressing issues of the day (sex, happiness, relationships, overcoming fear, etc.). Outside the event, the attractional model produced goods and services that the non-Christian consumer would find practical and beneficial. Relevance and pragmatism became a winning combination for burgeoning megachurches who could exceed consumer expectations on what they could offer them and the experience they could find.

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AND

Tim Brister —  November 5, 2010 — 1 Comment

A book that I have recently started reading is AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay.  Yesterday and today, the AND Conference is taking place, presumably focusing on the blending and balancing of the missional and attractional approaches to church life.  Below are videos played at the beginning of the conference.

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Drew Goodmanson has shared that the 2008 Total Church Conference audio is now available online.  Steve Timmis and Tim Chester are the authors of Total Church: A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel and Community which was recently re-published by re:lit.  I encourage you to check out the main sessions (below).  You can also subscribe to the Total Church podcast on iTunes (48 MP3s).

A Community-centered Gospel – Steve Timmis
The gospel is about a King who died to rescue a people who would reveal his character by their shared lives. In keeping with who I am ‘in Adam’, I individualize and privatize the gospel so that church is reduced to a necessary but often intrusive addendum. The gospel calls us to live ‘in Christ’ corporately and so show the power of the cross to reconcile and create community. (A Community-Centered Gospel Q&A)

A Gospel-centered Community – Steve Timmis
The gospel is that which creates, sustains, nurtures and perfects the church. To achieve this, the gospel needs to be at the center of all we are and do as the people of God. The gospel needs to be taken out of our pulpits and meetings and applied into the mundane and routine of our corporate and personal lives. (A Gospel-Centered Community Q&A)

Rethinking Attractional Church – Tim Chester
Attractional church (‘come to us’) and missional church (‘go to them’) are often set up as alternatives, yet throughout the Scriptures God calls his people to a life that attracts the nations. We can bring attractional and missional approaches together by re-conceiving church as a community rather than an event. (Rethinking Q&A Session)

Remodeling Attractional Church – Steve Timmis
As we focus more on the quality of our lives together rather than the slick performance of our Sunday meetings we will see how a gospel community is an integral and indispensable piece of the evangelism jigsaw. In fact, people won’t be able to fully understand the magnitude of what God has done in Christ without it. (Remodeling Q&A Session)

Making Disciples for Missional Church – Tim Chester
‘I’m free and belong to no man’ could be the slogan of our age. But Paul continues: ‘I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.’ What kind of people are going to sustain a church planting movement? This session explores how the cross and resurrection should shape our lives. (Making Disciples Q&A)

Making Disciples in Missional Church – Tim Chester
This session looks at how we train and pastor one another in the context of ordinary life and the context of Christian community.

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