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Monday Musings – 12/14/09

Attractional … Incarnational

I have been doing some interesting reading in Alan Hirsch’s book “The Forgotten Ways”.  In it he describes the words “attractional” and “incarnational”.  Essentially, the attractional church operates from the assumption that to bring people to Jesus we need to first bring them to church.   He describes “incarnational” as “embodying the culture and life of a target group in order to meaningfully reach that group of people within their culture”.  In its simplest form it means “come and hear the gospel” vs. a “go-to-them” mentality.

MJ and I had the unique opportunity to experience both in one night this past weekend.  We attended the Christmas concert at our home church on Saturday night, than we hopped in the car and drove across the city to attend the birthday party of a very dear friend.

The party had elements of an Acts 2 church.   We joined a group of people who were having fun at a friend’s house.  They had come together in community engaging in conversation, food, drink, music and dance.  During the evening, MJ and I met some people for the first time and got reconnected with others that we met at a previous birthday party.

Ironically, the theme of the concert was “Word on the Street – Light has Come”.  We will never get the word on the street that Christmas is all about Jesus Christ, if we keep the Light inside the walls of the church.  The Light came so that the church could become incarnational in the world we live in.

Last Monday, I suggested that church needs to be the best party in town on any given week.  If we want our friends to be attracted to the church,  then we better know how to throw a good Acts 2 party!   Just a reminder though, you may need to attend your friends party before they will attend your church – that’s incarnational!

By the way, at the party MJ and I met a lady who recognized us from the Singing Christmas Tree at Evangel.  For twelve years in a row she saw us from a distance on stage.  Saturday night she met us up close and personal at the party of a mutual friend.  Huh!  The church has potential to be a great stage, but its greatest impact is meeting the audience one on one!

Thanks Roy for the great party and reminding me that I can be myself outside the walls of the church.  Thanks Trinity for the great concert and reminding me to take the Word on the street that the Light has come!

Until next Monday…

Don

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