Monday, October 20, 2014

Do We Need More Mission Congregations?

What I am about to ask is about as controversial a question as one can ask in the Church. But because I’ve rarely heard it asked, I’ll ask: Do we need more mission congregations? For those who aren’t familiar with all this language, a mission congregation is a new church plant, an upstart. They are organized to serve gatherings of underserved Christians, or to try to make new Christians in secular areas. Church denominations frequently have goals of planting new congregations in new housing developments or suburbs where a church with their “brand” is not yet present.
     Without a doubt, many areas do need church plants, so it would be quite silly to suggest that there is not an absolute need for more church plants. As the population naturally increases, some areas will have enough Christians to merit a congregation of one brand or another. But how many do we need and what church plants are legitimate, if I may be so bold to ask?
     With a few exceptions, mission congregations that aren’t absolutely necessary, can easily do two things that are harmful to the body at large: they market themselves to a particular demographic, creating a competitive atmosphere in the Church; and they create overhead for new congregations, a burden when so many small congregations are struggling to survive and could benefit from partnership. Unless a congregation is one of the exceptions, mission pastors should strongly consider whether they need to be involved in a church plant.
     What are the exceptions? First, if there is an area that does not have a Christian presence, clearly a congregation is needed. Much more discernment would be needed to decide if a particular brand (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. and various versions therein) is needed, or if a partnership between congregations can be worked out. Second, if an ethnic group that does not speak English (assuming an American context), it will likely need to be served by a pastor of its heritage for a generation or so. Third, if your brand has very particular theological issues at stake, and no congregation in a good distance (say, a 25 miles radius) shares them, a mission congregation may be needed. If there is no confessional or sacramental congregation in 50 miles, a mission congregation may be needed for sure.
     The problems with too many mission congregations are rarely said –who wants to be opposed to mission! – but they should be. Notably, too many mission congregations inevitably create a competitive atmosphere, because they are rarely planted out of pent-up demand. Graduates from seminary want to lead a congregation, so one is organized. This can lead to a less-than-catholic view of worship and fellowship: people are marketed to by demographics and felt needs. All of a sudden, mission congregations are appealing to the very people established congregations are losing. But instead of restoring people to catholic worship and teaching, they are recruiting them to something new that may be perilous to their spiritual health, i.e. Purpose-Driven, seeker-sensitive versions of Christianity.
     All of this marketed, demographic research and certainty that “we can reach who others can’t” is happening while churches are hallowing out. Leaders and people that could be engaged in already-established congregations, helping them grow or resurrect, are beginning from scratch somewhere else. And when they do, they take on overhead that the other church already has covered: a building, property insurance, utilities, hymnals, and so on. Instead of the Church coming together, it is breaking apart and competing with itself…all in the name of mission.
     What fuels all of this? The easy answer is typical American methodology: bigger is better and numbers are king. We want to say we have planted so many congregations. I think we also look at the megachurch superstars - Steven Furtick, Mark Driscoll, et. al. - and we believe we can be the next guy to start a church as a Bible study and grow it to a powerhouse.
     But what if the Church at large is contracting in the West? What if, no matter how many mission congregations we plant, the Lord is shrinking his Church, turning it into a mustard seed? Why should we resist it? What makes us think we’re so special that we must grow? Or more to the point, is God’s Kingdom always growing? That seems to be the assumption in all of this, but I know of no reason that it is necessarily true.
     I guess to put some meat on the bones, if I were a bishop and a young man contacted me about starting a mission congregation, I would have to really think about it. Unless it were an ethnic situation or a totally barren community regarding the Church, my answer would probably be, “No.”
     A final proposal: among like-minded (generally like-minded, but not always exactly like-minded) church bodies, it seems that congregations should share as much as they can, but create ordinariates within one congregation. For example, Rome has done this with its Personal Ordinariates, where Anglicans retain Anglican liturgy and practice, but in some cases, have reunited with the Roman Catholic Church. Perhaps a variety of ordinariates can be one congregation for elements of worship, Bible study and outreach, but separate for sacramental purposes. This isn’t a perfect solution, but at least it shares the burden of overhead, saving resources. It also encourages cooperation in the Church instead of competition.

14 comments:

Abobo llove said...

The congregation is important in doing christian mission. Thank you for posting. It's great article.

Ivga Stark said...

Are you tired of doing your homework? 1WS is the easiest way of it.

Timo Stef867 said...

3D architectural Company in Dubai At Architectural 3D Rendering, we wage overflowing propertied 3d architectural rendering and architectural modeling performance services. Cooperation to Lineament and Enforcement has given us the possibility to move to attend the needs of an outside market. The 3D simulation structure images we create include a flooding stage of particular concerning moulding, performance, texturing and can also show perch ablaze,shadows. Rise to us for aesthetically fashioned 3D images! http://www.cgkite.com/

Martha B. Westcott said...

Admin, if not okay please remove!

Our facebook group “selfless” is spending this month spreading awareness on prostate cancer & research with a custom t-shirt design. Purchase proceeds will go to cancer.org, as listed on the shirt and shirt design.

Thanks

www.teespring.com/prostate-cancer-research

IBU WINDA DI GARUT said...

Saya IBU WINDA ingin berbagi cerita kepada anda semua bahwa saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW di SINGAPURA jadi pembantu rumah tangga yg gajinya tidak mencukupi keluarga di kampun,jadi TKW itu sangat menderita dan di suatu hari saya duduk2 buka internet dan tidak di sengaja saya melihat komentar orang tentan AKI SOLEH dan katanya bisa membantu orang untuk memberikan nomor yg betul betul tembus dan kebetulan juga saya sering pasan nomor di SINGAPURA,akhirnya saya coba untuk menhubungi AKI SOLEH dan ALHAMDULILLAH beliau mau membantu saya untuk memberikan nomor,dan nomor yg di berikan AKI SOLEH meman betul2 terbukti tembus dan saya sangat bersyukur berkat bantuan AKI SOLEH kini saya bisa pulang ke INDONESIA untuk buka usaha sendiri,,munkin saya tidak bisa membalas budi baik AKI SOLEH sekali lagi makasih yaa AKI dan bagi teman2 yg menjadi TKW atau TKI seperti saya,bila butuh bantuan hubungi saja AKI SOLEH DI 082-313-336-747- insya ALLAH beliau akan membantu anda.Ini benar benar kisah nyata dari saya seorang TKW trimah kasih banyak atas bantuang nomor togel nya AKI wassalam.


KLIK DISINI BOCORAN TOGEL HARI INI




















Saya IBU WINDA ingin berbagi cerita kepada anda semua bahwa saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW di SINGAPURA jadi pembantu rumah tangga yg gajinya tidak mencukupi keluarga di kampun,jadi TKW itu sangat menderita dan di suatu hari saya duduk2 buka internet dan tidak di sengaja saya melihat komentar orang tentan AKI SOLEH dan katanya bisa membantu orang untuk memberikan nomor yg betul betul tembus dan kebetulan juga saya sering pasan nomor di SINGAPURA,akhirnya saya coba untuk menhubungi AKI SOLEH dan ALHAMDULILLAH beliau mau membantu saya untuk memberikan nomor,dan nomor yg diberikan AKI SOLEH meman betul2 terbukti tembus dan saya sangat bersyukur berkat bantuan AKI SOLEH kini saya bisa pulang ke INDONESIA untuk buka usaha sendiri,,munkin saya tidak bisa membalas budi baik AKI SOLEH sekali lagi makasih yaa AKI dan bagi teman2 yg menjadi TKW atau TKI seperti saya,bila butuh bantuan hubungi saja AKI SOLEH DI 082-313-336-747- insya ALLAH beliau akan membantu anda.Ini benar benar kisah nyata dari saya seorang TKW
trimah kasih banyak atas bantuang nomor togel nya AKI wassalam.


KLIK DISINI BOCORAN TOGEL HARI INI





















INOVE Reformas & Construções said...

Congratulations!!!!
Pintura Predial, Pintura de Galpão, Pintura Comercial, Pintura Residencial, Reformas e Construções.

Inove Reformas e Construções

Anonymous said...

شركة الصفرات لمكافحة الحشرات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف خزانات المياه بالخبر

raafat said...

شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بسيهات
شركة نقل عفش بام الساهك
شركة نقل عفش بصفوى
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركة نقل عفش بالبقيق
شركة نقل عفش بالقطيف
شركة نقل عفش براس تنورة
شركة نقل عفش بالاحساء

zatelemad.co said...

شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
شركة نقل اثاث بالقطيف
شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
شركة نقل اثاث بالاحساء
شركة نقل اثاث بالخبر
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شراء اثاث مستعمل بالدمام

Apps Lure said...

Thnaks for sharing this blog.
Website Designing Company in Delhi
Website Development Company in Delhi

drmeads said...

We deal and specialize in the production of registered TOEFL, IELTS,
ESOL, CELTA/DELTA & other English Language Certificates. Please note
that Our IELTS & TOEFL Certificates are Original and registered in the
data base and Can be verified.
After your order is placed it takes just few days for us to get your details in the system Once your details are
imputed in the system it will be in the IELTS or TOEFL web sites/system
once for ever and will appear real, legit and verifiable for ever. WE
can also help you to get valid Work permits,Driver's license ,second
passport and Visas to European ,USA,Canada and Australia .
PLEASE SERIOUS CUSTOMERS ONLY! Please note that we will NOT process an
order etc without payment. We do not accept scam escrow, I’ll pay you
later, COD’s etc. We have to pay our resource a Commission before any
entry into the system is even made. This means in detail that if you
contact us back and state or request that we just enter your
information into the data base and incur all the up front cost then we can't continue in processing your order.
for more information visit our website @AUNTHENTICDOCUMENTS.COM

drmeads said...

Both Adderall and Vyvanse are a central nervous system stimulants. ...The difference between the drugs is Adderall contains amphetamine salts (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine), whereas Vyvanse contains lisdexamfetamine, which the body converts to dextroamphetamine before it is active, meaning it's a "prodrug."
Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and binge-eating disorder. Includes Vyvanse side


Suboxone is a prescription medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. It's used to treat opioid addiction. (Heroin and narcotic painkillers are common opioid drugs.) Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs called opioid partial agonists, which help relieve symptoms of opiate withdrawal.
Suboxone strips next to the Suboxone box. If you're reading this then you're probably already considering some form of opioid maintenance therapy
wickr …. frankdebule
text/whatsapp…+1(304)508-3011

drmeads said...

Welcome to suplexmedshop Online Drugstore, BUY Xanax Online without prescription.
Looking to buy prescription drugs online discreetly?
You are at the right place! Here, you can buy drugs online without prescription and have it shipped and delivered to your location.
As part of our expansion, we equally ship to all 50 States within the USA, The UK, Canada, Australia and a whole lot of countries worldwide.

Buying prescription drugs like Actavis Promethazine – Codeine Cough Syrup has never been easier.
We equally employ the most discreet payment methods, Bitcoin being one of many. All to ensure your safety and discretion is guaranteed.
Buy Drugs Online Without Prescription .Actavis
Promethazine Cough Syrup with codeine
and Morphine Sulphate for Sale Online Without Prescription.
Actavis Promethazine.
How should I take Adderall?,
BUY Xanax Online
Buy Adderall Online
BUY DEMEROL ONLINE
BUY Promethazine Codeine
BUY ECSTACY ONLINE
BUY VYVANSE ONLINE
BUY Oxycodone ONLINE

Buyonlinedocuments.com said...

Visit ( buyonlinedocuments.com ).. ( puredocuments@gmail.com ).. WhatsApp and TEXT … +1 (725 222 8302) Buy Registered Passport Legally, Real/Fake Driver License , ID CARD,Social Security. Birth Certificate,Death Certificate,Divorce Papers, Residence Permit,Green Card,Degree,Diploma,IELTS,TOEFL etc. FOR ALL COUNTRIES, STATES CITIES , UNIVERSITIES ( puredocuments@gmail.com ).. WhatsApp and TEXT.. +1 (725 222 8302)