Thursday, March 11, 2010

"And" Instead of "Or"...

I couldn't whether to just read or re-post this thought-provoking article by Tony Morgan ... so I decided to do both.

Why does it have to be attractional or missional? I’ve seen lives impacted by both approaches. Why can’t it be attractional and missional?

Why does it have to be evangelism or discipleship? Christ-followers need to be engaged in both. Why can't it be evangelism and discipleship?

Why does it have to be teaching from the platform or teaching in the living room? I've been stretched by God's Word in both settings. Why can't it be teaching from the platform and the living room?

Why does it have to be worship with an amazing production or simple, stripped-down worship? I've experienced powerful worship in both environments. Why can't we do both?

Why does it have to be corporate gatherings or one-on-one relationships? I need both to be encouraged and stretched in my faith and my leadership. Why can't we embrace both ways of connecting with others.

One of the things that most frustrates me about church-world blogs is the "or" approach to writing. I don’t get it. Frankly, it’s probably one of the reasons why in most cases I’d prefer to read marketplace blogs. In marketplace writing, if someone thinks they have the "right way" of doing something, they just go do it. Then they write about how it worked or didn't work. In church-world writing, if someone thinks they have the “right way” of doing something, they write about how the other church is wrong.

What if we took the "and" approach? What if we were open to the possibility that more people might be reached if we stopped doing either/or and started embracing both/and? What if God really designed some churches to be one way for one community or culture and other churches to be another way for another community or culture? My guess, as an example, is it's going to take a completely different type of church to reach the inner-city than it’s going to take to reach the neighborhoods of Paulding County, Georgia.

We spend a lot of time and energy fighting for the "or." Wonder what would happen if we just embraced the "and" needed to reach our communities?

The problem, of course, is that we like to worship our methods. Our preferences are the priority. In fact, we shape religion around our preferences even if it means sacrificing the broader impact of our ministry. Why help other people when it might make us uncomfortable?

I just wanted you to know I'm more of an "and"-type of guy. I know that frustrates you. It would be a lot easier to dislike me if I didn't agree with you. The problem is that in many circumstances, I think you're right. The only difference is that I don't think you're always right.

And neither am I.