Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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iINVITE Strategy
Encourage Why Church-Going and Evangelism Belong Together
by Tom Goodman
February 10, 2010

The way you think about "church" is broken if you think getting someone to attend your church is a hindrance to evangelism.

In a lot of church leadership blogs I read, the writers dismiss the so-called "attactional" approach to outreach and advocate what they call a "missional" approach.  They contend that we abandon all efforts to invite people to experience the life and worship of a church body ("attractional") and instead simply live an authentic Christian life in our workplace and neighborhood ("missional").

It's either-or, according to many:  Either compel the community to "come and see" or compel the church to "go and tell."

Um...  Am I the only one who sees this as a false dichotomy?  People veer off course in the whole "missional versus attractional" debate the moment they actually think the word "versus" belongs between those two words.

Should I build a genuine relationship with my neighbors?  Yep.  Should I live an authentic Christian life in their presence?  Yep.  Should I serve them?  Yep.

But now, keep going:  Should I bring my neighbors to sit in with my Bible study group and listen to us believers wrestle with the implications of the text?  Yep.  Should I pray and work toward the time my neighbors begin to sit with me in a service where real worship is taking place?  Yep.  Should I enlist my neighbors' help on a church mission trip?  Yep.

If you think involving people with your church family will hinder your efforts at commending Christ to them, the solution isn't to quit inviting them to church.  No, the solution is to fix what's broken in your understanding of "church."

Listen, if we have a church where people are doing all the stuff that a real church ought to be doing -- praying for each other, serving each other, forbearing each other, worshipping God, challenging each other with the Word -- well, wouldn't that be absolutely the best environment for the spiritually curious to see the life-changing difference Christ makes?

This Sunday at 10, come learn why "church-going" should be part of your outreach efforts.  Because, when it comes to the question of whether Jesus wants us "out there" with people or if he wants us bringing people into the Christian community where we share life together, the answer is "yes."


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored," with its Links to Your World -- interesting and informative links, posted every Tuesday.

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