What if this was Church?

Discovered this video online. I think it does a good job of bringing balance to what is often pretty out-of-whack in the American church scene. Thoughts?


  1. Only one viewing, and my only criticism is the image of the gospel going from the USA to other parts of the world--I honestly think that graphic was unfortunate. Historically, theologically and practically it is just unfortunate.

  2. Second thoughts: isn't this just the difference between modalities and sodalities that Ralph Winters makes in many of his articles--the answer isn't one or the other, it is both. We need to have both the Jerusalem style church and the Antioch style church. We need pastors and missionaries. We need attractional models and sending models.

    Good word for the American church though, which has too often biased towards one model of ministry.

  3. Third thought: this is actually the sum of the argument made by many groups that would be considered aberrant/abusive or on their way to becoming aberrant AGAINST most churches within the evangelical spectrum. I'm thinking of particular of groups like ICOC or the Shepherding Movement etc. Oftentimes these groups/movements start with good intentions, but in order to keep the fire from going out, they resort to less than Christlike ways of motivating/inspiring/leading their flocks. Also, it ignores the reality of discipleship, that it is often ugly, timely and usually involves many false starts.

  4. Of course this is a video for the American church, thus the still unfortunate "west to the rest" imagery. It isn't ideal, but I understand the reason for it.

    I don't fully see the relevance to the modality/sodality debate. The question I believe the video is asking us is "Are we correct in what we think the modality should look like?" I would also dispute the idea that Jerusalem and Antioch can legitimately be used in this way - as "attractional" and "sending" archetypes. But as the video goes, it demonstrates great wisdom is simply asking us, "What if things looked less like this and more like this". The video isn't suggesting a different course, but rather a course correction. Which is good.

    Also, I think the issue of abusive and controlling leadership isn't specifically relevant to this video. Plenty examples of such exist in every conceivable model of church.

  5. Well, it may not be directly related to this video--but the questions arising from the video might be 'what does vocational ministry look like in this kind of paradigm?' 'how is church discipline done?' 'is this really what is taught in the new testament as normative?' 'what happens when movements cease being movements because of a lack of corporate vision and direction?'

    The reason I brought up the abusive issues is because in order to get the desired results, leaders in these kinds of movements can be manipulative and use coercive leadership styles to direct the movement along the lines of their vision.

    I think the modality/sodality debate is relevant, because in some senses it is a better picture of the biblical body--the body has many different gifts, some of those are more entrepreneurial and some are more pastoral, sometimes a perish church structure is needed for the shepherding and discipling of those weak in the faith, while those with strong giftings/callings often find this restrictive and seek out opportunities to be more active in using their missional gifts--there isn't a right or wrong structure, they are different parts of the same body, and necessary for the health of the whole.

  6. parish, not perish--maybe freudian slip

  7. thimitsamphanh1:50 PM

    This video was shown at a Discipleship conference this past weekend called Downline Summit in Memphis, TN. They are a parachurch ministry focused on the multiplication of disciples based on Jesus and expressed in the book by Robert Coleman. I'm not sure if they made the video or if they found it online to support their message. I think it is simply critical of overly attractional and calls for the restoration of what they consider "biblical discipleship"

    1. Greetings! I appreciate your comment and readership! I agree, a helpful corrective for the Church. Blessings.