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Check out this article from the CEO of Connect09

by on April 27, 2010

Andrew Nixon talks about mission truths he’s learnt the hard way. Painfully honest, but he knows what he’s talking about.

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  1. A few highlights for me:

    1. The status quo isn’t working.
    7. Church ….. is just too big a first step for un-churched unbelievers to attend.

    These two go together. So many of our current strategies ignore the latter point. We are supposed to be the leaven in the lump, not up on the shelf.

    4. All of our churches must be ‘missional’ churches, led by and populated with missionaries.
    9. Our church members are a wonderful gift from God and the greatest untapped resource we possess.
    10. Our senior ministers are first class people who we have failed to prepare properly for the mission situation we place them in.

    And these all go together too. So much is done for us by the “professionals”, who are trained in and give emphasis to Bible teaching far more than in anything else, regardless of their gifts. Too much control, too little freedom and risk-taking, too much fear. We need structures, training and commitment to use everyone’s gifts, not just a vague aspiration.

  2. I so agree with all this, Eric, thanks for making the points.

    I like the leaven image: exactly how I think church should be, spread through the community, not standing outside it. Attractional models that are just attractional, don’t get this, and don’t work well.

    The professional thing is a big problem. So often we ‘trained’ staff take ministries out of the hands of ‘lay’ people. I think there are power issues involved, too. Those with power tend to want more! I’m not immune from this, btw. So we need structures and policies that push the other way, towards leaders freeing and releasing their people for ministry/mission. That’s my dream…

    That’s why we’ve put into our vision/disciplines statement
    point 25. We will intentionally seek to undermine the clergy/laity distinction. (for the details, see our Vision page)

    But these problems are distortions of what church should be – church itself is not the problem. I think the NT makes it clear that God’s will for his people is that they gather and worship and live and think and act AS A BODY in significant ways. One of my concerns about the problems Andrew Nixon identifies, is that they might put Christians off church itself.

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