What If...Dusty said...
"What would a church be if it did absolutely no marketing? What if a handful of us got together and just created a weekly worship experience that made sense to us? What if it we went so far to be totally exclusive for as long as a year, to really establish what we believe to be the most important values of our church, and then only let people know about it through personal relationships/ direct word of mouth invitations. Probably a lot more like the church described in Acts 2 was...Just some thoughts."
I heard about a place like this once. Four families decided that this was what they were going to do, so they got together and just started praying about the area they lived in and the people they knew that had know relationship with Christ. They prayed for a while and a pastor ended up joining them in their endevor. They spent the next 5 months meeting in each other's houses, worshiping together and defining their values. At the end of those 5 months they began people to be a part of their new church only by word of mouth and they started their year long period of establishing what they were about. They were very clear that they were not doing church yet, they were just getting together to worship and learn together planning for how to reach their first circle (see Jonny's old post). There was NO adverstising, NO signs, NO website, NO phonebook listing, and at the end of that year there was 800 people meeting at a middle school every Sunday.
Now I know you guys figured out I was talking about Pathway, but the church became what seems to be what we're speaking against without the huge marketing plan or even business model (to be real honest, leadership has been done kind of haphazardly at times). It can be safely said that there has been missteps along the way, that we're missing the mark in some issues and not even in the neighborhood on others. The question is what makes a church go from 5 families in a living room to 1500 people in a middle school in 2.5 years? I think a lot of the blame/credit's got to go towards God.
Now there's always room to grow and change and understand the Gospel more fully, but my question is how in churches of all sizes in america is there truly amazing things happening, that can only be credited to God if we're missing the mark so severly? Why would God not withhold his favor from us?
Finally, I think it may be beneficial if we started talking about small slices of churches that we see taking the Gospel to the streets, poor, needy and down trodden. Even if these churches are only getting it right in one way, let's start talking about that and see if we can't start understanding how we can make bigger differences in the communities we find ourselves in (or will someday).