Missional vs. Attractional vs. House Church Models all have the SAME flaw « From Eden to Zion

Should I call this my Eden 2  Zion series?   I’m reading another post from this website  Missional vs. Attractional vs. House Church Models all have the SAME flaw today, and it has to do with the flaw in focus – all of these “forms” of the church are trying to build the church:

 The missional model believes you build the church through being “incarnational” which often means small communities living life with non churched people, enfolding them into community as they move toward a belief in the Gospel.  Attractional churches set up excellent programs usually centered around a worship service that draws the non churched in and slowly works on building a belief as they move visitors through a defined assimilation process.  House churches critique both models believing you build the church by gathering believers together in a shared common life.

The premise of this article is that “All three models miss the point.”  Jeromy points out

 “We are never commanded to build the church.  We are never commanded to plant a church.  We are never encouraged to develop church building models of any kind.  We don’t build the church.”

The  true ‘mission’ of the church, as stated by the article, is:

Jesus has already weighed in on this debate.  Listen to two thing he said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), and “Go and make disciples….” (Matthew 28:19).

Making disciples should be the goal, which would aid int the organic reproduction of the church.  As he suggests:

Thousands of churches emerged through Paul’s ministry but he didn’t build them, they emerged as Paul proclaimed the gospel, made disciples and released the 5-fold ministry (Ephesians 4:11).  [Read this for one example of this in the city of Ephesus]

 He goes on to cite an example of a friend of his who has seen this principle in action.  How did the churches in his example form?  He suggests, ” through the training of disciples NOT through the planting or building of churches.”

He links to other articles on his blog, which has a lot of posts on this topic, as his ministry uses this paradigm for church reproduction. 

How do you think this would work in practice, if the Church stopped building itself and tried focusing on making disciples? (And I note that the wording is very deliberate here – disciples, not just converts.)


7 Responses

  1. hmmm. we need to BE the church. the body. not the building. there is benefit to the building, yes. but we need to BE the church in our community. i agree.

  2. Hmmmm – i seem to be comment stalking Tam today?? She always gets in JUST before i do?? 🙂

    well – serves her right for stalking me! 😉

    i agree too Bajanman.

    Except… i have a strong belief that it should be done RIGHT! (making disciples) – and by ‘right’ i mean EXACTLY as Jesus did and taught His Apostles to (to whom the command to make disciples was given – not to any johhny-come-lately who reads the passage in Matthew 28)

    Part of the dissension we see in Christianity today comes as a result of the eagerness to do as He did – to follow Him – without the required teachings/discipleship being involved previously – we all need to undergo our apprenticeship as did the 12 before we are best qualified to instruct others into such action. This eagerness while being in an unprepared state leads to imperfect understandings and division within His Church – or those who claim to be in it, to be more precise 🙂

    It can then be quite difficult for people such as myself to see what is True of Him and what is not and is one of the many reasons i do not attend Church because i have yet to hear of a single one who shows His truth to all from within.

    I just hope i can recognise it when, and if, one ever does 🙂

    Surely such a Church would be able to show a direct unbroken lineage from one of the original 11 + 1???



    • Tam – May we all understand the concept of BEING the church!

      Love – I love this comment: “Part of the dissension we see in Christianity today comes as a result of the eagerness to do as He did – to follow Him – without the required teachings/discipleship being involved previously – we all need to undergo our apprenticeship as did the 12 before we are best qualified to instruct others into such action.”

      The apprenticeship period is something not taught or encouraged, but is so necessary! We are encouraged to share the ‘gospel’ … but ask 10 – no, 5! – people what the ‘gospel’ is and they’ll not know the answer….

      Archie – I don’t think that ‘telling him’ about Jesus over and over and over is the point of the article. Disciples are not converts. Once someone comes to Jesus, they have become a convert, but they have to learn to make Jesus Lord of their lives. In my opinion, that takes time. I mean, the disciples had Jesus himself with them but didn’t get what he was saying or trying to teach them half the time. Look at how many times he rebuked them for a lack of faith…. look at – even after the Resurrection – how they were STILL asking him “When will you restore the kingdom to Israel?” He spent 3 years teaching them about the Kingdom of God not being a physical kingdom, yet they didn’t get it. Converts need to spend time changing mindsets and being conformed into the IMAGE of Christ. Conversion is the process of taking on Christ’s name.

      To me it’s sorta like when you’ve gotten married. At the wedding, the wife takes on the husband’s name (traditionally, anyway.) But it takes years for the two of them to jell together and truly act like one flesh…. maybe it’s a weak analogy, but I think it illustrates my point. What do you think?

      So yeah, encourage new believers to share their faith – as quickly as possible! BUT also, bring them into a discipleship so that they – along with the people THEY bring to Christ – learn how to DO what Christ commands. “You are my friends if you DO WHAT I COMMAND YOU…”

  3. So are you telling me, I get to tell someone about Jesus and then I get to keep telling him? How many times must I tell him, until he should be telling someone else.

  4. Having grown up in Bible believing churches and a believer for nearly 50 years. Man, that makes me sound old. Ouch!

    Anyway, it seems practically speaking either the church seems to lead people to Christ and receive poor discipleship or nobody gets saved and everyone gets discipled. Seems odd.

    I have been reading the new testament church from the viewpoint that people were saved and told to go home and tell their family and friends or not. Didn’t see where they were enlisted to hang around.

    Not defending any point of view other than I wish more folks found Christ and quickly won their friends and family over.

    God bless and Merry Christmas from Texas!

    • Texas, huh? Wow 😀 Well I agree with you 100%, Archie…. I would love to see the church grow like that…. especially in my family!

      Be blessed!

  5. Actually the bible describes all of us as “being saved”, something that continues till we meet Jesus face-to-face, not something that happened in an instant. Sure, it began in an instant, but that was only the first breath we took of life through the Spirit…

    Thanks for linking to this article…. I went and read the original article, liked it a lot. Although, I don’t think the flaw is in the true understanding of what it means to be the ‘organic’ church, but rather the flaws come when we start re-injecting the old traditional mindsets and practices into this new model, to the point where it isn’t really new anymore, just dressed up in different packaging…

    Jesus’ metaphor of new wine and old wineskins is such an awesome one…

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