Hang around CVC and you will hear, "We seek to serve the last, the least, and the lost. We want to do good deeds to build good will so we can share the good news about Jesus. We want to mobilize our members and attenders to see themselves as missionaries cleverly disguised..." We come to CVC to be equipped to go be the church in our workplaces and communities. The best form of evangelism is done "out there" not "in here."
This move toward more missional has been an adjustment in emphasis for us.
25 years ago, we started CVC with more of an attractional church model. We wanted to design services and ministries where members and attenders would want to bring guests. We wanted the guests to experience irresistable environments where they could hear and respond to the gospel. We talked about "invest and invite" as a primary evangelistic strategy.
Church leaders today talk about the either/or-ness of missional and attractional. But I am convinced that both are good. It's my observation that the best missional churches typically still have attractional teaching and music and that the best attractional churches seek to mobilize people to sacrifice and be on mission.
When it comes to missional and attractional, I am a big fan of both/and not either/or.
One of our one-time members, Carol Garrett, once wrote a piece that reflects our attractional passion to reach out effectively to the seeker who might be a new attender at CVC.
V.I.P.'s In Our Midst
Only God knows who they are…***
Each week they take a seat among us in CVC services.
Most wish to remain inconspicuous. Some even anonymous. On the outside, they look just like everybody else. They smile. They sing. They laugh. At appropriate times they stand or sit or listen.
But on the inside, where only God can see, they are searching.
Many don't know what it is they're looking for, or even if they've come to the right place to find it. For a variety of reasons, all kinds of people with all kinds of questions have made their way into our midst each weekend.
Some come looking for God, trying to satisfy a spiritual longing. Perhaps they have never been inside a church. Or maybe they've been in one too many. Disillusioned with religion, they never planned to be in another church. But here they are. Searching.
Some just need a little peace. Life is tough, and they need direction. Or answers. Possibly, even a reason to go on. Something is wrong and they can't make it right. So here they are. Maybe it's a last resort.
A few people come to be polite…a friend kept asking. Why not be nice? Experience something new. No expectations, no strings attached. No awareness of their need for God.
We don't know who these people are. But some things we do know. Each week they are here because in some way God has drawn them. It is no accident. For many, a lifelong search will end as spiritual truths heard here open their eyes to Jesus Christ.
Every believer at CVC will know these things, because at some point in each of our lives, we were that person sitting on that chair, on our own personal journey toward Christ.
We have all been the seeker.
And that is why we spend countless hours planning, practicing, praying and preparing for these few moments each weekend. We provide a comfortable place where others can come, listen, and learn the truth we know. No amount of effort is too great, no time spent is wasted in giving that opportunity.
Whether we plan the service, implement the plans, or invite the visitors, all of us come together with a single high purpose. For the person sitting in that chair—we do our job, then God can do His. And that's the exciting part. That's when seekers become believers.
My heart is still moved by these words. May CVC be a safe place for seekers to come and find Christ. And may CVCers be moved to go and be the church. Missional and attractional. Why can't we be both?
Question: When it comes to missional/attractional, how do you think the church should be?