Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Externally Focused Church Webinar

Last Wednesday I listened to a webinar with Eric Swanson and Rick McKinley. I've listened to and read quite a bit from Rick McKinley, and I always come away with some new insight. This webinar was no different. Below are some notes.

Four Paradigm Shifts a Church must make to become Missional

1. From How-To to Want-To
  • If we are not on mission, it's not because we don't know how, but rather because we choose not to be.
  • If we desire to be on mission, the first step is repentance.
  • Only God can change our sinful and selfish hearts.
  • We talk a lot about sins of commission, but we also need to deal with sins of omission.

2. From Coming to Going
  • Attractional churches (how do we get people to come to church) vs. Incarnational/Missional churches (how does the church go to the people)
  • It's not that one is good and the other is bad (it's not a good thing if your church is un-attractional). However, if we are going to influence the culture, we need to figure out how to be incarnational.
  • We often believe that the world exists for the church. This is a faulty belief.
  • We are the Sent people of God
  • The church's best expression isn't on Sundays. It's when we see our workplaces, schools and neighborhoods as our mission fields.
  • We are not here for our own agenda but for Jesus' agenda, and his agenda is about loving people.
  • Which is more difficult, to get our church to go out into the community or to get the community to come to our church?

3. From Protection to Proclamation
  • Our focus is often "Us vs. Them", especially when we see the culture all around us changing. Yet we aren't here to protect. We're here to proclaim.
  • Here in the U.S., we're not going to be killed for proclaiming. Why, then, are we still in protection mode? Does God need to be protected?
  • Our job is to joyfully serve and proclaim His reign (Kingdom of God)

4. From Relevance to Influence
  • Relevance became such a hot topic for the church because we were often very irrelevant to the culture at large.
  • However, many of us have stopped at relevance, and we're not even sure why we are trying so hard to be relevant.
  • The purpose for relevance is so that we will have influence in the culture. That is the goal.
  • We can't be so focused on relevance that we fail to preach the entire Gospel (including the difficult parts).

Final Thoughts
  • We need to teach the people in our churches what redemptive work looks like. Their work has a gospel-based focus and a gospel-based outcome.
  • Do the people in our churches know how to "Go?" What does this look like?
  • Our budget has to reflect this shift
  • Rick McKinley: "If you took away the work we were doing in the city, and I was just preaching every Sunday, it would make a major difference in our influence."
  • Rick was asked, "How do you lead a very traditional church to becoming missional?" His response: "You have a better shot at making them missional than making them attractional. You have to be honest with your condition. If you are an older congregation that sings hymns, that is not a bad thing. The question is, are we willing to go through the process of repentance?"

1 comment:

brad brisco said...


Thanks for the great summary here of the webinar, it is very good stuff. Glad to find your site via google alerts and look forward to checking back to the blog.