September 25, 2008

Fishing for people

As I sat last night in a Adult Ministries Committee meeting, reflecting how we as a church reach out to those inside and outside our fellowship, I got to thinking about what we do as a church and why. One thought led to another, and pretty soon I was thinking about why the church exists and what it is supposed to do. Now, this post is not the place to try articulate a fully orbed ecclesiology, but I do want to share one reflection. It seems to me that too often today, churches fall into the trap of seeing themselves as magnets. What I mean is that we focus our energy, time, and certainly money on better facilities, better programs, better worship experience, and the list goes on. We are trying to attract people to us and then keep them. Now, there's nothing wrong with attracting people to come through our doors, it's good to have well-kept facilities, etc. But, it seems we've got a mentality right out of Field of Dreams, if we build it/perform it/provide it, they will come. What about churches as being places where we focus on fishing for people. Where we encourage one another to spread out throughout our community and actually talk to people, share with them, invite them to come. We might spend less energy focused on inward projects and keep our eyes outward a little more.

I know this isn't the basis for a complete doctrine of the church, but it certainly seems worth pondering. Is my service to Christ solely focused on what I do in the church and for churchgoers? Doesn't quite seem right?

1 comment:

matthew r malcolm said...

Yep these are very worthwhile thoughts... and also uncomfortable, because somehow I think this sort of orientation requires more of us than we are often willing to give.