I’ve been musing over this post for a while, perhaps all year now. I couldn’t quite put my finger the ‘why’ my head would shake when I discussed or thought about conventional church models.

I’ve moved beyond the cynicism that can choke one’s spirit. I’m actually fond of many regular churches who happily and mightily go about their mission. If God is a God of mission then he’s certainly big enough to work within the fledgling attractional model of church.

Then it hit me. The reason attractional hits an invisible wall when it comes to finding enough volunteers to run their programs lands with something we all crave when joining a cause–inspiration.

Maybe I’m being a bit too flaky, but I honestly think we can exit the 80/20 paradigm (80% of churchgoers are spectators where the remaining 20% do 80% of the work to run a church.) The solution?

Inspire people to live out mission in their lives.

Many are not inspired, rather, they are ‘sold’ to attend Sunday church with the promise of great music, a nice sermon/teaching, and maybe a carnival or two.

That goes against our innate creativity. A certain creativity that also qualifies us to comprehend the simplicity of God’s loving and saving message of redemption.

If Jesus was right when he said that even a child could understand the gospel, then we should figure out a way to break God’s rescue message down in simple yet profound terms.

From there it wouldn’t take much to inspire people to be great in the things they’re–well–great in.

Once you inspire people the rest will fall into place. You see too often church leaders want to start with ‘vision’. The senior pastor will go on a quite retreat and come back with the new tablets for the next year. His vision is then set upon the church, and the people are to buy in.

Let’s start with mission (the message of God’s rescue plan for humanity), inspire people to become participants in that mission, THEN watch how people chose to adopt vision.

Not only will people take on your vision, but they’ll call it their own taking the core DNA and translating uniquely into their situations.

Inspiration leads to adoption of vision.

But that’s not all. Once you call a vision your own you prime the pump to have these same people, rather these same leaders, you’ll find not only engagement into mission, but the transformation of lives that comes from that intentional engagement.

The gospel is inspiring, translate that inspiration into the context of your church and watch people adopt a shared dream as their own.

God’s dream is huge. It’s exciting, and it’s worth fighting for. Let’s not permit this joy to rot in the liturgy of “5 songs and a 45 minute sermon”.