Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
I remember having lunch with my friend, Ben, who is starting new works in a particularly “unchurched” area of our city. He is taking a pretty non-traditional approach, at least in terms of denominational church starts. He is simply making friendships in businesses and schools and other places in the neighborhood, then watching as some of those friendships develop into Bible studies. The goal, I believe, is to start a number of these Bible studies in multiple locations around the neighborhood and see what happens.
So, as Ben and I were enjoying our Mexican food, we were talking about these friendships he was making. Many of them are not the kind of people who would ever feel comfortable walking into my very traditional, very WASP downtown church. As he was explaining his approach to these friendships, he said something that really hit my traditional, institutional church paradigm completely sideways. He said, “Blake, the people I am talking to about Spiritual things are not asking the question, ‘what do you believe?’ That’s not a question they care about at all. What they are asking is, ‘Are you somebody I want to be like?'”
I haven’t been able to get that comment out of my head. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It has really shaken my world.
I live and move in a world of strategic planning. I consult with churches regularly, telling them how important it is that they spend time defining who they are and what they believe. I am big on mission statements and purpose statements and vision statements and core values. If you ask me to describe my own church to you I would probably begin …