October 11, 2013
"...it seems the larger bond is to community. Quite a few people we met had somewhat troubled pasts. Our sense is that finding such a welcoming, non-judgmental group must be very appealing. And being part of the church seemed to give them a greater purpose..."
The Church would be well served if more congregations could be described this way. And what a great contrast to the denominational structure, where new factions are born out of animosity and disagreement. This is the kind of specialization I can understand the purpose of.
Certainly, you could argue that it presents a unique set of challenges (Christ becoming a secondary focus; trying to avoid falling into the 'bait and switch' trap) but at least in theory, these challenges seem no more or less surmountable than the challenges faced by any "traditional" church.
How unique to find a church with such a unified vision and clear understanding of the audience that they are trying to reach. What if our "traditional" churches put more effort into defining who they are trying to reach? There are a lot of great resources out there that help churches be better communicators, (http://churchjuice.com) being one of them.
This also begs the question, what other niche groups get overlooked by the traditional church? Shouldn't we be finding ways to reach them?
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