Do you ever wonder why some churches are growing older? Or why younger folks just don’t seem to be interested in your church anymore? If you’re concerned about this then good, you should be. You should be very concerned. It’s really not very complicated of a problem. But the way that churches continue to struggle, you’d think we were trying to cure cancer.
Here’s what it essentially comes down to – being missional and being contexual. If you’re in ministry, you’ve probably already got this figured out. MAYBE, I’ll say something that will help trigger a thought or an idea. But if you’re not in ministry, I think I might have something to say that could prove to be informative, if not helpful.
Let’s start with these two words. Missional and Contextual. Churches that are small and/or older and/or stagnant and/or losing members are likely neither of these. AND THAT’S NOT OKAY! It’s not Biblical just to hang your hat on the “well we’re faithful and people aren’t interested in the truth anymore.” That attitude just strikes me as self-righteous and lazy. But I digress.
The idea behind missional is really what it sounds like. Being on a mission; and not just any mission, but God’s mission. Where I think many churches lose their way is that over time they begin to misinterpret what God’s mission is.
The other word is contextual. A little harder to explain, but not impossible. It means to do ministry and think missionally within your context or culture. Here’s a real easy example. One way to be contextual today is to embrace technology. We can get into this more, but suffice it to say that our culture is more technologically reliant than ever before. Look around at some of the “younger” folks at your church. When the preacher says to open up to a particular scripture, how many turn on their tablets or smartphones? You get the idea. A contextually aware and sensitive church is going to embrace this and lean into it. Leverage it.
This is the first of many posts on this idea. So I’d like to end this first post by asking you to come back and read more. And, one more thing, start thinking about how your church is doing with being on mission and being contextual? What does it look like? What are your specifically doing as a church that leads you to believe that you are missional and contextual? What do you not see? Etc.