September 12, 2018

Spectacle, Growth and Asking Questions

In the latest episode of A New Thing, two questions were hinted at in our conversation that I've continued to think about.

The first was starting new churches really require sensationalism, a spectacle? The other question was is starting a church really about scale and growth–creating a "thing"? Or is it about people, a community?

Catherine asked the first, effectively. And Rasheen asked the second.

I think it’s important for those of us that are “professional Christians" to consider these two questions were posed by lay leaders in the Church. Could these questions be reflective of others that fill seats and pews on Sunday morning?

Here's where I'm going with this: I wonder if sometimes the spectacle fashioned by new congregations exposes the lack of engagement in the gospel; which is scandalous itself. Why would we need to fabricate drama if we truly sought to to preach, teach, pray and live out something as disruptive as, oh, say the Sermon on the Mount, for example?

Secondly, I wonder if our obsession with growth or "success" exposes the absence of true analysis and strategy for sustainability along with a human craving for more. I'm referencing three potential scenarios which can be distracting:

1) A planter, or sponsor of a plant, is unwilling to do the work of crunching the numbers, studying the data and figuring out what it really takes to achieve sustainability in your context, so you slap numbers around without any data knowing full well you don't intend to be accountable to that or

2) You've done that study but really just don't want to work that hard to achieve that, or

3) You've done that study but want more and are therefore not transparent with what it takes to do create a sustainable community ... because it's not a community for you, it's a platform.

Thinking "out loud" here. Would love to know your thoughts. And go listen to the episode.

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