The end of the home field advantage

baseball-1091210_1280There’s an important distinction to be made between “attractional church” and “missional church.” Some key differences include:

  • An attractional church sees itself as the center toward which people and resources flow.
  • A missional church sees itself as a gathering from which people and resources flow toward the world.
  • Attractional absorbs people into community. Missional sends them out.

Of course, most healthy and vital congregations are both attractional and missional.

The categories of “nones” and “dones” (Pew Research Center, U.S.), “non-churched” and “de-churched” (Church Army Research, U.K.) make it clear that the renewal of the church will not occur as we add new and different worship services or develop clever advertising campaigns (the British call them “schemes”!) to attract the outsiders to come in. Indeed, the conversation about “attractional” and “missional” church is at the heart of the Fresh Expressions movement, although a missional church is not a Fresh Expression, and vice versa.

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