I come from a tribe called the Church of the Nazarene, and it’s beginnings come from our Wesleyan Holiness theology, we also originate as a revivalist denomination. Our view of sanctification is based on an ongoing growth in Christian maturity. That view goes hand in hand with very Nazarene slogan… ‘To make Christlike disciples’. So far so good?
I have a problem though (amongst others), and thankfully I am not on my own on this. We are currently in the process of completing our annual bean counting exercise which has very little to do with that slogan above. A friend of mine has just posted a comment and questions regarding this very same thing.
We are currently completing statistics that revolve around how many attend Sunday services, attend various activities at church and other things. We hear on an annual basis that none of this is about numbers, but the reality is something very different. We need a new measuring stick that helps to describe the life of a church, particularly the gradual process of missional work in our own locations. The life of the church needs to be genuinely recognised through the week, and outside the church building – in fact it needs to do more than pay lip service to a a more complete understanding of the Christian life as opposed to attendance. What we have been doing for so long in church is a service and that tends to produce a passive church attender
by dangling attractive carrots in the form of activities and very little else.
The challenge for us is to live a life that engages and creates situations where people not only become intrigued, but also infectious to the extent that people want to know more. In short, the Gospel needs to be lived for all to see in every aspect of our lives because we really care about those people we come into contact with, and not because of any ulterior motive.
Some may find it difficult to do such a thing, but why? Surely the Good News is about more than proclamation? Surely, in order for this to happen, we need to be church outside the building? Dear Church I have some news for you, people do not fall through our doors for many good reasons….. Get out there and find out why!