Redeeming the Four "B"s in the Western Church (Baptisms) - Part 3
Greater Things: Part 38 "One"

Redeeming the Four "B"s in the Western Church (Bodies In the Pews) - Part 4

The original "B" was for "Butts in the pews" but I figured that would upset someone, so I changed it to "Bodies." Nevertheless, you get the point. It's about counting the number of people who are in the building for scheduled worship services.

BODIES IN THE PEWS (or folding chairs) – The church is simply the people of God gathered. We wear the name of Christ and as a living organism, growth is natural. An attractional model may gather people in the room, but does that necessarily equate to health for the church?

The old scorecard counts event attenders (whether that be small groups, worship services, concerts, etc.) and gives points when there are more in the room. The incarnational church recognizes that church does not happen within a building during a two-hour period. When a missional theology is lived out, the church cannot remain within the building. Life change happens relationally, whether at the local coffee shop, dry cleaners, or gym. The missional church will engage in narrative mapping of the community to discover where the crowds are gathering. The art of “hanging out” is given validity.

Many western churches seek to create crowds. Often these are perceived as Christian “bait and switch” events. They are often designed by Christians sitting in churches trying to think like lost people.

This is the challenge. How do you count these people? There’s no box on the old scorecard for this. This must be understood and accepted. The pastor who wishes to free his people to be the church must learn this phrase, “That counts!”

In the past, only those who attended authorized church functions would get a point on the “scorecard.” No longer. Attendance at church events is not bad. Worshipping collectively as the church is vital. However, the missional church recognizes the power in releasing the church within the community, one Christ-follower at a time.

Church members must be instructed in the art of domain engagement. Every society in the world has pre-defined domains (transportation, education, medical, etc.) However, it must be noted that there is no such thing as the church domain. This is difficult for western believers to grasp because we function as if there is. God created all the domains that exist and then called the church to go engage each domain. This is revolutionary. God has placed within our churches men and women who live and function regularly in these pre-defined domains. Rather than pull them out and guilt them into disengaging and living solely in the created “church domain,” the missional church releases its members to be the church and engage the domains of the culture for the sake of the Gospel. That is being the church.

That counts!

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