Repeat Saturday: Steak Restaurant for PETA Activists

At Forefront we’re trying to reach the people who are furthest from and least interested in God. Now on one hand that may sound daring or even noble, but on the other hand it’s got to be about the stupidest mission in the world. To start a church for the one group of people who are not interested in church. It’s kind of like starting a steak restaurant for P.E.T.A. activists. Can you picture the conversation? “Well, we know we want to sell steaks … who would be least likely to eat one?” “Probably P.E.T.A. activists.” “Okay, let’s target them!”

Yeah, good luck. That’s a guaranteed, rock-solid failure because no one tries to offer their product to the one group of people who aren’t interested in it. But that’s exactly what we do. But our venture is not a guaranteed, rock-solid failure because we have God. But it does make our task very difficult.

And it’s why we do many of the things we do, the way we do them. Think about it: If you did start a steak restaurant for P.E.T.A. activists, what kind of advertising would you do to convince them to give your restaurant a try? What would you want the exterior of your building to look like, so when this skeptical person drives up, they don’t just turn around? You probably wouldn’t have a big picture of a steer with a spear in its throat out front! How would you do your interior design? What kind of vibe would you try to create? What would the menu look like? What verbiage would you use in it, and what wouldn’t you use? How would you want your wait staff to act? And how would you feel if your target – a PETA activist – tentatively walked through the front door one night, and right at that moment some guy at a table yells out, “More beef! I want the 32 ounce ribeye!”?

What God has called us to do is church … for people who don’t like church. And that’s crazy. And it’s difficult. And it means we have to very carefully think through everything we do. We want to still be the church, and do what the church does, but do it in a way that attracts and appeals to people who have already made up their mind that they don’t like church.

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