A few thoughts: as for Christology, Jesus as the founder of the movement sets the primary template; Missiology is our purpose and function; ecclesiology – church comes out of our missionary engagement.
I know this all too well. When I was on staff at a church in suburban
Unfortunately, that was the mindset of our leadership (myself included): attractional outreach. We had abandoned small groups as the outreach arm of the church (which used to be the M.O. of “my denomination” for decades.) Small groups really served to educate our attenders. We transitioned to let our worship service be the outreach arm of our church. When you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and you are using your worship service as your outreach, it better be a pretty good show. People could drive to see Ed Young (who planted a campus less than 15 minutes from our campus). Young people were driving 45 minutes to go hear Matt Chandler at The Village Church. Prestonworld was only 10-15 minutes away.
I learned a great lesson. I realized I had made that mistake when I went to an Acts 29 boot camp in 2005 and heard Ed Stetzer discuss this. It was a great lesson. I am not bashing the attractional style of outreach. Ed Young (Jr.) always inspires me to think creatively, Rick Warren has baptized over 20,000 people and planted 100s of churches, and Andy Stanley is reaching people for Christ in Metro Atlanta and has planted 17 other churches mainly in the Southeast. What I am saying is if you are going to draw people by putting on a show, it had better be the best show in town.
What I would do differently? I would eliminate a lot of the programs that draw people to the church and stop recruiting people to use their gifts to serve the “church” (by that I mean the programs that make up a local church). I would seek to get our people more involved in their neighborhoods, in their schools and elsewhere serving the community all for the purpose of impacting the Kingdom both socially and individually.
My old church may be faced with this dilemma soon.