How did you come to the place where Jesus was more than a name to you? Did someone invite you to church? To their home for a Bible study? Maybe someone handed you a gospel tract or shared with you their testimony of how they came to faith in Christ. Maybe you grew up in a home where godly parents led the way.
However you came, God was at work. He is behind all the ‘means” he uses. Often these are classified as either “Attractional” or “Missional.” Let’s compare and contrast these ways of ministry:
As you can see, both are Scriptural. Jesus, at one point in his ministry, says “Come and you will see…” He also says, “Go and tell…what you have seen and heard…” They are the two sides of the ministry coin.
The church in the United States has historically been more focused on attractional strategies, and that has been true of Island Christian Church also.
Times are changing. In the United States, about 1 in 4 adults identify with no religion at all. They are unlikely to just walk into our church some Sunday. They are frequently unresponsive to invitations to church.
A “Go and tell” strategy is proving more effective today. It is really going back to our roots. Christians in the early church “turned the world upside down” because they lived out their faith, because they were moved to go to the desperately sick and the cruelly abandoned, and because they loved their Lord more than their very lives. (I spoke about these practices in my message of April 28–” Inverted.”)
As a church, God is calling us minister outside the walls of our building. As Jesus commanded: In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
I believe God’s plans are much bigger than ours. He is well able to show a skeptical and distracted world that he is Lord. He is looking for a group of men and women and young people who will “give up their small ambitions…and preach the gospel.”
Pastor Mike O’Connor