One of the common comparisons we often hear about and talk about in the life of the church is whether or not we are an attractional or missional church. The point of this post isn’t to pin us up against one another, but to pose a question that I think is worth asking when we hear the word attractional.
Typically when we think attractional church, we identify churches who use Sunday worship as the front-door of evangelism. The design/programming/environment of the Sunday experience is attractive in order to attract people to come and to stay. Worship gatherings, programs, and events are marketed to a particular group of people to “come and see”. Most events/gatherings are happening at the church building, the temple. And they are executed with excellence and precision, because it’s intent is to be attractive.
When we think of the missional church, we might think of churches who aren’t as Sunday/Program/Building-Centric and are builders of a more organic culture through the creation of spiritual families. Missional Communities (aka Spiritual Families on Mission) provide incarnational ministry in all arenas of life; where people work, play, eat, and rest. The people are discipled and empowered to carry out the authority of Jesus as sons and daughters of God in order to extend God’s kingdom. Worship and meals are often happening in homes in order to invite people into spiritual family. And it’s worth saying that much like the attractional church, worship gatherings on Sundays may also be done with excellence and precision; it just may not be as heavily emphasized. It’s more about culture, metrics, language, and purpose that characterize the two.
I want to pose a few questions: What if we broadened the spectrum of the attraction? What if we used the word attractional and applied it to the overall life of the Church? Applied it to the life that we live? This is where missional and attractional intersect. Actually, I want to pose that Missional IS Attractional.
In order to understand missional as attractional we must change our spiritual glasses with new lenses. We must step back and see this from a kingdom-perspective. Simply stated, the kingdom of God is the most attractive thing in the world. In His kingdom, people are made whole, they are united with their creator, savior, and sustainer, there is unconditional love, forgiveness, there is family (I often say that water is thicker than blood), there are families united together in covenant with one another through Jesus, there is no sickness nor sin, no loneliness, and we are in the presence of God. Even though all of life won’t be perfectly restored until Jesus comes back, these are the glimpses of heaven we get to invite others into and what a beautiful and yes, attractional, life this is.
When people encounter you and your spiritual family, when they encounter the kingdom throughout the week, they have already experienced so much more than the attraction of a Sunday morning service. When people experience Jesus and are living within a spiritual family on mission, all the lights, smoke, bells, whistles, Aeolian Wind Harps, giant LED screens, and confetti just don’t mean as much.
Missional IS Attractional.
May the power of God breakthrough into the lives of those around us as we take risks for His kingdom. May the life we live as homesteading worship leaders draw people in to the family of God because it is oh, so good. May the spirit speak to us on how to fulfill our calling as worship leaders in our everyday lives so that we may be good builders of spiritual family and mature disciples who make disciples who make disciples.