I met Glenn Schaeffer years ago when he was a pastor in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada; and for many years his very colorful blog, Go and Make has been linked here. These thoughts really resonated and I wanted to make sure you had a chance to think this over!
I have been blogging for a few years. As I compose articles I find there are times when, either for the press of time or simply out of sheer laziness, I simply mention a resource and hope the reader will take the initiative and find it online. (This is not my usual practice!) There are times I will hyperlink to a resource so with a simple click of the mouse the reader will be taken to the website. Other times, I embed the material right into the blog so that the reader simply scrolls down … clicks and watches what has been embedded into the blog.
I can’t help but see a parallel with congregations and their attitude toward their mission to the lost people in their community. Some congregations have the attitude that, “We’ve let people of this community know we are here. We have built our building, erected a sign and we have a website. Now, it’s up the people of this community to find us.”
Other congregations “hyperlink” to their community. Vacation Bible Schools, community workshops, worship services in local senior centers, brochure distributions, radio ads, preschools, “block parties” and home Bible studies make it easier for people in their community to find them.
Other congregations “embed” themselves into the social fabric of their community. Member’s volunteer in a variety of community organizations … foster friendships with their unchurched friends or coworkers … develop relationships with seniors in senior care homes … invite immigrants into their homes to introduce them to western cultural practices … develop working partnerships with local organizations in their community or the neighborhood around their church building. The people of the community encounter members of “embedded” congregations almost everywhere. “Embedded congregations” don’t wait for people to find them … they find the people and serve them … love them and tell them about Christ!
What is the tendency of your congregation?