The problem is not so much with what churches are doing; it’s with what they are not doing.
Many churches are so focused on growth that the majority of their resources (money, materials and people) are focused on growth initiatives; i.e. building campaigns, community events, etc. This leaves little left for internal growth initiatives. In other churches, particularly those overseas, there is precious little resource to invest in either external or internal growth. Either way, churches are struggling to help people to grow. We are adding to our numbers, but we’re adding ‘fringe’ and we’re not helping ‘fringe’ move to the core.
BUT, what if there existed a community of ‘core’ believers whose sole purpose was to birth new believers from the ‘world’ and develop baby believers in the ‘fringe’?
If this community was effective, it would complement churches of all sizes, shapes and styles while filling this all important gap of internal spiritual growth. It would have to be orthodox and yet inter-denominational. It would have to be united on the essentials of the Christian faith, but mature enough to give and receive the freedom granted by grace. It would have to be seemlessly global, not bound to a region or local church body. It would have to be large in number, but it would have to be more concerned about the maturity of the community than it’s size. It would have to be simple for community members to communicate with one another; it would have to be accessible, transparent, authentic, and helpful to those outside of the comunity.
If such a community existed, ‘fringe’ building churches could leverage the community to supplement their existing internal growth initiatives, practically free. If such a community existed, a small town church in west Texas, an isolated body of believers in Zambia or an underground small group in a communist or muslim country would have equal access to the same global support structure as a mega-church in the USA.
Does this sound exciting? Do you want to engage? Let me know…
2 Replies to “Are ‘fringe’ building churches such a bad thing? Maybe not…”
be orthodox and yet inter-denominational
I have no idea how we are going to pull this off,but I strongly agree. I feel the Holy spirit is moving the church right now tightening up the core and preparing us for the next stage in church history. there are a few like minded people at my blog, stop over make yourself known, you have much to offer, I read all your posts. You get it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this since you first presented it. My wife read it and agreed that this is what we, as a couple, have been talking about for the last couple of years. A lack of focus on maturing/growing believers and a general spiritual shallowness to the congregation. I must include myself in that group prior to 5 years ago when some men of my church took focused interest in me and showed me what the bible says about adding to our faith and the great commission’s inclusion of disciplining as I go.
Our experience is that the churches we have been a part of have hearts to reach the lost with the gospel but once someone becomes a believer the process seems to get them into “community” with other people in the church. But who are those groups of people? Fellowship is a good thing but, as we have discussed, community/fellowship doesn’t lead to growth and they may end up with a large group of world minded people with little to no encouragement to know God any deeper or study God’s word. This may sound harsh but I’ve been in church groups where no one wants to go any deeper. I’ve been thinking how VERY confusing a group like that would be to a new believer.