I saw this on facebook and it was attributed to JourneyChurch.org I think it is a fantastic illustration of what the church is experiencing in our day and age.
You see a lot of times we in the church are down on the consumer model of church where people come to be fed. This diagram also seems to take that tack and if it does, I might have to part ways with them just slightly. I believe that all Christians should be missional by the definition of this diagram. The church is “A body of people sent on mission who gather in community for worship, community, encouragement and teaching from the word in addition to what they are self-feeding themselves throughout the week.” That is where we need to be headed, so that we are the church at all times.
That being said, ministry and evangelism are and have always been about meeting people where they are. I believe in many cases, this is where the consumer part comes in. People come in looking for something and we need to deliver that. This is one of the great things about art ministry. It’s an entry point, a way of giving people something they want. Surely it feeds much of what we read in the above description of missional, but it’s also something really cool to appeal to the seeker or the consumer, the person who is “just checking it out” or “looking for a better show than the church down the street.” You may cringe when you read that. I cringed when I wrote it, but remember we are in the business of meeting people where they are. We are not in competition with the church down the street, but we are in competition with a whole bunch of other media and activities all screaming for consumers. We have something better. We have what moves them to something deeper, but first we have to get their attention.
What spoke to me most in the whole diagram was the arrow. I wish they had left the words off the arrow, because I think the arrow is sort of the point and the mission for the church. We need to be about reaching the world beyond our doors for sure, but another huge part of ministry is that arrow, moving people from Spiritual consumers to Missional believers, from someone who goes to church so someone who is the church.
That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “Go and make disciples.” It’s all about the arrow.