Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Comfortable Substitute

After watching (and posting) Francis Chan's sermon "Lukewarm and Loving It!" I have developed a fond appreciation for his ministry and teaching. He has a great article titles "The Comfortable Substitute" that documents the changes his Church embarks on as the reevaluate how they "do church". He provides some stimulating thought in regard to "redefining success" and "killing our sacred cows".

The framework he outlines seems to be a popular trend, at least here in the NW. The idea that he calls a "neighborhood church network" is popping up in a number of church plants across Portland under a variety of different labels.

As I understand it the church model puts "small groups" (cell groups, community groups, life groups, bible study groups...whatever you want to call it) front and center instead of one of many accessories to "doing church". Many established churches that I interact with have been saying for years that "small groups is where church really happens". The difference is actually allowing that knowledge to change your system.

It will be interesting to see how this transition pans out and what the long term impacts will be. The way many talk, it would seem this is the end all be all. I appreciate that Francis Chan at least acknowledges a handful of "cons".


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