Christianity Today puts our a Pastors Journal called Leadership. It is a quarterly review of what is working in the church. The last couple of issues have been sent to me and I have to comment. The first one that came to me was called Missional Church. This is a new term that has come out of the Emergent Church as and answer to the Seeker Sensitive Church. It is almost funny how these people are falling over each other to define what type of church they are doing.
For the common church goer it doesn't really matter but as a Pastor and leader of a church you have to answer and address these issues from time to time. Let me start with definitions of these types of churches:
- Missional Churches feel called to minister to the community by taking the church to the people instead of getting the people to come to them
- Emergent Churches are experiential churches that emphasize participation over spectating so they use dark rooms, candles, and prayer labryinths to get people involved.
- Attractional Churches (Seeker Sensitive, think Rick Warren) put on high caliber productions through music and drama to draw people in.
I have generalized these movements but it pretty much gives you a basic picture of what goes on. The thing I want you to notice is that none of these models emphasize the Word of God yet this is what people are hungry for. Willow Creek Association, a big Seeker Sensitive group of churches, just came out with a study showing the people want to be taught the Bible. Just recently another study came out saying 18-24 year olds want to know what the Bible says. If this is what people want why aren't churches giving it to them?
Calvary Chapels have emphasized the Word of God from the start. Chuck Smith used to teach through 10 chapters of the Bible on a Sunday Night. The places was packed and people were sitting on the floor. I believe that if churches would make teaching the Word of God central and do it in a way that relates to people their churches would be packed. Worship styles come and go but the Word remain the same.