Attractional v Missional Models of Church
I have now finished two out of the three lectures I am giving at Carey Baptist College in Auckland. Today I explored the socio-cultural forces behind neo-spirituality driven by information technology and consumerism, and then explored a Trinitarian Ecclesiology as a basis of Christian Spirituality to engage with a context of neo-mysticism. Finally, we looked at issues around leadership as all the denominations face the challenge of reframing from a Christendom to a post-Christendom context.
It was a good day, I forcused on the need to let go of an attractional model of church born of Christendom as incompatible with a post-christendom context of neo-mysticism, and the importance of a missional relational model of Christian Community. Matt Stone has written a great blog on this, so check that out. So my use of New Monasticism is a form of missional model, where the communities Rhythm of life lies at the heart of the community. So offer the model below of a more new monastic missional model.
My reflections on the training morning with Baptist Pastors, is just how entrenched the attractional model is. There is still a desire to form sexy forms of worship to get people in, but as I said then, this just recycles Christians rather than makes an impact with unchurched people. It is hard to conceive of the missional model if you are operating within a model of attraction within a worldview of Christendom. My hope is that the training will play a small part to enable people to shift their worldviews to be able to see the need for an incarnational and missional model of church.
So I think the world church has much to learn from the likes of Missioners such as Vincent J Donovan of an Incarnational model of church, that seeks to use a methodology using a synthetic or transcendent contextual theological model. A good day, but we so need need to help people get beyond an attractional model of mission.