I’m doing a few series kind of interacting with and starting discussions about themes in some books on church planting. This series comes out of “Planting Missional Churches” by Ed Stetzer.
Stetzer gives some great examples of churches that have taken a very missional / incarnational approach to church planting (see pages 163ff).
One examples is “The 411/NYC” where the team went into New York City and for 18 months did nothing but pray for and serve the community. They believed that people’s opinions Christians were so negative that they couldn’t just move in and start “doing church.” Instead they had to first be Jesus to the community. Only after changing people’s views could they effectively reach out to them.
Another example is “Logos” where the church planting strategy was for a bunch of people to move into towns, get jobs, and then use their jobs to build relationships. Out of those relationships the church would be formed and grow.
Another guy Stetzer mentions is Hugh Halter, who has a great quote, “The biggest assumption we had to get rid of is: If we build it, they will come to us, if we just do it well enough. We had to start assuming that they are not going to come. The only ones that are going to be drawn to our programs are Christians…”
This, obviously, gets to the whole “incarnational versus attractional” debate. So, what do you think? Are the attractional days completely gone? Is it possible to reach non-Christians (at all) through the attractional method? If so, what’s the most effective way to do it?
And what are some of the more effective missional/incarnational methods you’ve used? (Yes, I realize that it’s not a “method,” it’s living life, so don’t explain to me why I’m wrong please.)
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