Saturday, October 4, 2008

Touching Base! Part 5

“Attractional” versus “Go To”

If you were to ask people attending Bethel, “What attracted you to Bethel?”, you would get a number of answers such as,

Children or Youth Ministry

Over the last decade, Bethel has grown substantially because of the strong attractional aspects of its ministry. However, the vast majority of those individuals that have been attracted to Bethel are already followers of Christ. They were attracted because they already knew Christ! Thus, while Bethel grew, the kingdom of God did not grow proportionally. Followers just traded places, shifted venues, traded in soft chairs for the hard pews of Bethel. In light of this reality, there are two commitments we as a Church need to make:

- Commit to discipling those followers of Christ who have come to Bethel. Our goal is to move people along in their spiritual growth. Anything less is a mockery of what Christ’s Church is all about. It is our privilege and responsibility to care for these people.

-We need to think deeply and biblically about the majority of people in Kingston who would never be attracted to Bethel. For them our Church culture is like a foreign culture. While it is true that there are still many folks who are not followers of Christ that would be attracted to Bethel, the hard truth of the Canadian landscape is that those numbers are decreasing. The only way we will ever influence this growing majority of people for Christ is to go to them. We must learn to love them deeply, listen to them carefully and pray for them faithfully. We must earn the right to be heard. We need to find ways to be carriers of God’s kingdom to them. Maybe then God’s Kingdom will grow!

Mark Kotchapaw

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