One of my huge problems with aspects (or representations) of missional church is its denigration of the local church. I have been in conversation with a church leader in recent days who continually calls the gathered church “a failed model.”
When I responded that “it seems to have worked well for 2000 years, he rejected that notion.
That conversation (several with the same individual actually) were on my mind when I read the following paragraphs by Phillip Fletcher:
A local church is to be the heart of the community in which it resides. The streets are the veins and arteries. We the believers are the blood that carries the oxygen of the Gospel.
Imagine believers simultaneously gathering to worship and send believers throughout their community. It would be a strange thing, a deadly thing to the body not to have a properly functioning heart.
I for one have not seen the church ever settle for “keeping the message within the four walls”. The church has DONE that at times, but it has always been recognized by healthier members as abnormal and non-biblical. On the other hand, a “sent” church that has no times of contracting into “body time” is not identifiable as the church.
Maybe I am tilting at windmills (not improbable, given my history) and it is only a problem in my head. But the quote, coming on the heels of several conversations with this para-church leader set me off a little. It’s a picture I like and one I will probably use again.
I don’t know anything about Phillip Fletcher, but you can read the entire article that the quote came from here.