The next few blog posts will offer some ideas applicable to a larger church context, this second piece an idea to subtly shift culture of mission.
I remember a conversation I had with a pastor in a megachurch about how to measure success thru a missional lens. He told me a story of how is interaction and embodiment of the gospel literally in his neighborhood has been a win. Translating the same values to his congregation, well that’s been a struggle to say the least.
I don’t think many which how is the accuracy of this statement:
[tweetthis]The bigger the church the harder it is to change its culture.[/tweetthis]
Larger churches need to be far more intentional managing their systems because of the number of people which is why most reflect the epitome of consumer Christianity. To challenge what the the majority of congregants are used to experiencing, the Goldilocks faith that’s not too challenging and not to loose, winds up being near impossible.
I don’t have a suggestion on how to turn the entire ship around without sacrificing a significant number of people in the process. I do, however, how did idea to suddenly start changing culture through that door. Let’s change our small groups.
Many core practices in Christendom aim to build learning. The idea is right thinking will yield right behaviour. That’s why we have a 12-week discipleship course or discipleship studies. It’s also why we have a discipleship problem. Thinking about the right things doesn’t translate into good practices (or any practices at all).
Here’s a subtle shift to try in your community that may impact the way people live out their faith. Caveat, there is a balance here (can’t go from one ditch to another).
Eat More – Study Less
What if our small groups were intentionally re-oriented so they had a deeper reflection of ‘life on life’, rather than buddies getting together to go through a booklet? Not saying there’s anything wrong with the latter, but I am saying there’s something deeper worth pursuing.
The exercise and habit of embodied faith in community has more to do with shared life than right thinking. As shared life increases, so to does discipleship. Frame all of this around the intention of being sent people, and you have a recipe for replication as well.