Tuesdays with Theophilus...
I was surfing scrolls and parchments the other day and I came across a scroll entitled, Why the Missional Church will Fail. The article was was written by Mike Breen. In his opening paragraph Breen wrote:
It’s time we start being brutally honest about the missional movement that has emerged in the last 10-15 years: Chances are better than not it’s going to fail.
In case you are not familiar with the "missional church" allow moi to explain. The missional church is a movement that decries "church" as outdated or outmoded and advocates personal relationships. Michelle Vu in her article, Missional Church - The Next Big Thing,? writes:
The missional movement, in many ways, is a counter force to the traditional way of “doing” church. Rather than being program-focused, the missional church prides itself on being people-focused.“Missional is a way of living, not an affiliation or activity,” explains missional leadership specialist
Reggie McNeal in his new book, Missional Renaissance: Changing the Scorecard for the Church.
“To think and to live missionally means seeing all life as a way to be engaged with the mission of God in the world.”
Any movement that fails to subscribe to or incorporate the marching orders for the church delineated in Matthew 28:18-20 will fail. At best movements and churches may limp along with little or no results for all the effort, energy, and enthusiasm it pours into itself.
Discipleship is the duty, the sustenance, and the guaranteed continuation of the church. The problem that has plagued the church particularly in the last 50 years or so is that the church has tried to grow by attraction rather than by addition. Churches have become very adept at developing programs to attract and entice people to join them. True discipleship has fallen on hard times these last several years.
Discipleship takes time. One must roll up one's sleeves and get right smack dab in the middle of some one's life. Once someone has been made alive by the Spirit of God they need to be "parented" by someone for the next 2 to 3 years. As a result, it is easier to say, "Come, join our church, because we are the friendliest church in town." Or, "we are the fastest growing church, or we have the best children's ministry." Of course this past few years the invitational cry has been, "come check out of worship team or praise band."
Yes, as I sit in my grotto overlooking the Tiber River, awaiting my call to cena, I think the missional church will fail because it has been built on a faulty foundation. I do not think the church can prosper biblically or spiritually without discipleship.
Yours Until Next Time,
What do you think?