• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Wyketa Shipman
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Associate Pastor, Discipleship
  • Shannon Clark
    Administrative Assistant
  • James Parker
    Chief Musician
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Christine Betts
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Ty Commons
    Youth & Families Intern
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
  • Derrick Harris
    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
  • Angela Sierk
    Director, Children's Ministry
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director, Nursery
  • Robert Blevins
    Director, Community Development
  • Janice Crowson
    Director, Facilities/Finance
  • Daniel Brown
    Print & Digital Media Specialist
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The Importance of Correct Posture

While you were growing up, I’m sure your mother told you (and maybe she still does!) to watch your posture and stand up straight, and she was correct.  Posture is highly important for us physically, and it also impacts how others perceive us.  As physical posture is important in so many ways, our posture towards the world as a church is also critical.  This is something that we learned at our first Saturday Seminar last month.  What follows comes from that training time.

Most churches work on what is called the “Attractional Model.”  This model says that if we do a good job with our ministries, if we do a good job with children, and if we present the right atmosphere in worship, non-believers will come to the church and find Christ.  That model works if a majority of people in society are comfortable with the church and hold, at least to some extent, aspects of a biblical worldview.  When only a minority of our population is antagonistic towards the church and towards Christianity, we have higher hopes of drawing outsiders into the church. 

That was true for so much of our past.  It is less true today.  When a growing percentage of the population becomes more antagonistic to Christianity and to the church, or if they become indifferent because of a lack of any remnants of a biblical worldview, then the church is far less attractive.  Either people openly disdain the church, or they simply believe it has nothing to offer.  How do we reach the world with the good news of the Gospel in such a climate?  We must move away from an Attractional Model of ministry.  That model will be effective with an increasingly small pool of people that all of our churches struggle to reach. In that climate, instead of true church growth, existing church members move from one church to another, because this worship service is preferable or of higher quality, or that children’s ministry is more exciting.  We might have church growth, but not Kingdom growth.  So, how do we achieve real Kingdom growth in an increasingly indifferent or hostile cultural environment?

We change our posture.  We need to take the posture that is bent outwards towards outsiders rather than inwards towards family members.  This means we are much more intentional in engaging with those outside of the faith family with the goal of introducing them to the beauty and hope of the Gospel.

What barriers have to come down in order for someone to be willing to come to our church for a worship service or any other event?  Several things come to mind.  First, we need to love them well enough that they see in us things that they are internally craving, whether consciously or not.  Second, because much of people’s hostility is grounded in caricatures of what Christians are, we must provide a different picture of Christianity, one that is not negative, hateful, or judgmental, but is instead gracious, loving, and inviting.  Thirdly, many outside the church are living lives where they are relatively satisfied.  Life works for them, at least on some level.  But for most, that sense of well-being will be challenged at some time by sickness, tragedy, or other painful experience.  They probably won’t think about coming to church on their own to help them cope, but they will probably be thinking about life in different terms.  They will need someone close by to help sort through those questions.  Finally, more and more people have no knowledge of Christianity or what is in the Bible.  They just don’t think about heading there for answers to life’s questions.  They need someone near to point them there for real answers.

How can we draw them towards the light of the Gospel?  We must develop intentional relationships with them.  Church signs won’t do it.  Media campaigns won’t get the message across.  They need a personal representative of the Kingdom in their lives who can lead them to the place where beggars find bread.  That must be our posture as ambassadors of the Kingdom.  We are called, not to wait for them to come, but to go into the highways and byways to engage with those who are living without the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.  If we are to see real Kingdom advancement, then we must change our posture and move out into the world to seek those who need the Gospel.