Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sticky Church - Mission Creep – Pastor Larry Osborne

Assumptions :
• It is God’s desire that His Church is contagious with lives filled with the life givingn fragrance of the good news of Jesus.
• If something is amazing and life changing to someone then they will naturally share their experience with others and invite them to try it. If people are not inviting maybe it could be because they assume their friends won’t like it?
The Church Should Be A Community Where:
• Evangelism is natural not contrived. “Come and See” evangelism is the normal way and “Dog and Pony” events and “Marketing” evangelism are the exception. This will naturally decrease the pressure on “Assimilation Systems” as there are already existing effective relationships. Consider natural and artificial conception, both produce beautiful babies but one is ‘normal’ and less resource driven than the other.
• People are genuinely Changed not Just Touched.
• Long term the wider community is made better not bitter. Fact : Some large churches have reached their capacity to grow simply because over a period of time their surrounding community has more people who’ve ‘visited’ and been ‘touched’ by the church than there are people who’ve ‘stuck.’ Very unhealthy situation long term.

What Has Gone Wrong?
• Terrible ‘Packaging.’ Generally in the western world the church is more known for what we are against rather than whom we follow. People hear – “The church is against me not for me. They hate me not love me.
• Mission Creep. Consider the YMCA. Churches consistently move the target from the one Jesus set to somewhere they are hitting. If you are not accomplishing the goal STOP. Ask yourself, staff and church: “Why are we doing this? Is it working?

Mission Creep : Five Subtle Shifts:• From Discipleship to Decisions. Discipleship is not an extra credit add on. Consider the rich young ruler. For Jesus ‘eternal life’ was obtained by deciding to giving up running this life our way and following Him.
• From Obedience to Doctrine. We’ve sifted from obediently ‘following Jesus’ to maturity is a ‘self feeding’ knowledge accumulator. What about if you can’t read? What about life change?
• From Persuasion to Warfare. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and Daniel. Instead of resentfully attacking those whom the evil one is leading against us we must humble ourselves under God and seek to kindly win them over. God’s way is to win over not wipe them out. “Those Blues are amazing…”
• From Relationship to Attendance. Focus on sticky relationships with Jesus and others.
• From Jesus to Justice. Remember you can give Justice without Jesus but you can never give Jesus without also giving Justice.

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