By Steve Kozar - Posted at Pirate Christian Media:
The "attractional" church model is so common that it's practically the norm; most Christians have assumed that it is the only valid way to "do church" nowadays, or they don't even know that other legitimate options exist. What is it? Simply put, this model of church starts with the idea that "normal" church is unattractive and can't bring in new people, so exciting new ideas must be implemented in order to get people in the door. Once people show up for the attractive and entertaining aspects, they'll eventually hear a gospel message and they'll "accept Jesus in their hearts" (or something to that effect).
- This philosophy makes a number of assertions and assumptions right from the start:
- The needs and sensibilities of the unbeliever should determine the strategy of the church.
- All of the churches in history (up till now) were doing it wrong: too old-fashioned, too boring, too stiff, too negative, too much doctrine, too ritualistic, etc.
- People would be glad to go to church, but it's just too "churchy." All we need to do is tone down all the religious stuff, make it fun and "relevant" and people will show up.
- A church should focus on meeting people's needs through "life skills," "success," "psychological therapy" and "leadership" training, and it should help it's members become "purpose-driven" people who can "accomplish their destiny." A church doesn't need to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins anymore; or if it does, it must radically alter the language to appease unbelievers.
- Numerical growth is proof of God's blessing; lack of numerical growth is proof that God is not involved.
- In order to build the church, God needs "vision-casting" pastors, and these pastors must then command their followers to do the work required by the "vision" that God gave them.