Monday, August 18, 2008

tangible kingdom. week four.

the tangible kingdom. chapters 10-12.

Attractional Approach

Unbeliever is invited to church

Unbeliever confesses belief

Unbeliever repeats a prayer (baptism)

Believer joins church

Cognitive discipleship

Focus: Counting confessions

Believing enables belonging

Incarnational Approach

Sojourner is invited to belong

Sojourner confesses interest

Sojourner experiences the good news

Sojourner participates in community

Experiential apprenticeship

Focus: Transformation

Belonging enables believing


as i said before about my dad, he believes but does not follow. i would have to say the same with my mom. one of the biggest reasons why i love the incarnational approach is that i see my mom and dad being who they are in this setting. What i get from them is that if they go to church they feel better about themselves, well my mom anyway. It's like she's back on God's side and not only from my mom do i see this but i see it from many other people. Just because she sacrificed a Sunday of sleeping in or from being with the thousands of animals she loves at home so she can go to church, it's redemption. But not lasting. She'll soon feel guilty about not going and then hit it up a month or so later. She's missing out. The pain and guilt that she bears has been a burden she carries herself. It's hard to see them view the church like this.


Amanda said...

Chapter 10

One of the things I love about the incarnational approach to ministry is that it starts with belonging, rather than ending with it. It makes sense to me that having a sense of belonging should come before believing. I guess I don't understand why we have fallen into the thinking that an unbeliever is going to stay long enough at a church to say a prayer and become a member if they don't feel like they belong there. It baffles me.

My younger brother does not like the church, but I think most of that stems from the fact that he has always felt judged whenever he stepped into one. He knew he didn't belong long before anyone could tell him.

So... how do we help people to feel like they belong?

I'm sure that much of this has to do with our posture.

People like my brother know that they don't have it all together, and it's a painful experience to walk into a place where people look at you and their faces show that their first thoughts about you were that they don't believe you have it all together either.
Then he feels like he has to be perfect, and because he knows he's not, he's not going to come back.

The incarnational approach really does seem to focus on tranformation. Come as you are, belong with us, experience the good new, and let it transform you. The attractional approach seems to scream conformity. Get your act together, become like us, then you can belong with us.

Maybe that's just a really harsh way of viewing it.

In one of the responses to the incarnational approach, someone said "I can trust God to do the 'converting' thing." I think this probably best explains how I felt when I was talking about our posture in regards to the LGBT community (But really, this can apply to anyone). They're being bombarded with the attractional approach to ministry, which screams conform before you can belong. But what they need is the incarnational approach which, I believe, gives them room to seek God when they might not have otherwised, and experience transformation.


Chapters 11 & 12

My dislike of a heirarchy in the church began when the deacons at my previous church tried to overthrow the pastor. Before then, I guess I really hadn't thought about it.
But I had to face it directly last semester when my group for my Multicultural Youth Ministry Class chose to study women in ministry and I was assigned the theology portion. (why me, right?)

Anyway, it eventually boiled down to this conclusion: perhaps the issue of women in ministry wouldn't even be an issue if people really understood that Christ is head of the church and we are all members of one body. This is where I see the pyramid tipped over.
Everyone steps up to take an active role in the body following the headship of Christ. There isn't one leader over everyone else for all time, but people are empowered to lead others.

This just makes sense to me. I do wish I had seen this earlier though.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is old, but I needed to get in on this. This is one of those topics that I didn't even know existed until the past year or so. I didn't realize there was attractional and incarnational. I just thought that the attractional way was the way you do church. (It's what I've grown up with...) I do know that it has always seemed a little off to me. Attractional never made sense to me now that I know that is what it's called. I just don't get the idea of evangelism being "inviting people to Sunday morning church." I know that I don't invite people to church because it would scare them and make absolutely no sense. In our Student Ministry this fall we are getting away from the attractional model. It was kind of hard for me, because it is so different from what we have known forever.

My question is... How many of us have really been a part of something that wasn't attractional? And how many of us are willing to do something different than what we've always done? This book is challenging but how many of us will really do something about it?