There’s been quite a debate about missional vs. mega (attractional) church the last week. This time it all started with Dan Kimball writing a post for Out of Ur questioning the fruit of the missional church paradigm, he claims that the missional model has not yet proven itself beyond the level of theory. According to Kimball, there’s more visible, numerical fruit coming out of the mega church model. 

For some informed responses, read David Fitch post here (scroll down a bit, its a post from Dec 4th), and Alan Hirsch’s reply here. And while you’re at it, why not have a look at Andy Rowell’s thoughts on the matter.

Here’s a few brief thoughts of my own…

…Dan highlights some important issues here, we do need to soberly and honestly look at the fruit of what we are doing as churches – whether it be inherited, mega, missional, or whatever. Things might look good on paper, but real life may be another matter.
…Numerical growth is only one aspect of fruitfulness – the true test is whether or not disciples are being made, and what kind of disciples.
…Dan writes about “self-described missional churches”. Just because you say you are missional, doesn’t mean you actually are missional.
…Missional church, for me, also carries an important strategic component – it is to prepare for what lays ahead (and to a large extent already is a reality in Sweden and most of Europe). The mega church concept do still show some impressive fruit in North America – but it has struggled in Europe, and if North America is following a similar path of cultural shifts then it just seems quite unwise to put too many eggs in that basket. The time for innovation and renewal is now, not in ten years time.
…I do question whether the mega church concept seriously can respond to the challenges of consumerism and individualism in our society, which has affected our churches in quite devastating ways.
…Isn’t it also a matter of what may be deemed as a more faithful way of being church? Or as Alan Hirsch writes in his post…

The only other thing I will say is that we as believers, live by a vision of what can be…we cannot allow ourselves to be constrained by pragmatics alone. Vision precludes that and is driven by holy discontent to see a greater manifestation of the Kingdom. 

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