Church Planting -- Slower than Expected II
We really want to bridge the culture. I personally wasn't rescued out of the culture. I am an outsider to the local culture. I've never been drunk. I've never listened to a band in a bar. I've never shot skeet or hunted deer. And I'm slowly learning about NASCAR.
Couldn't sleep last night so I read 100 pages of Building a Contagious Church by Mark Mittelberg from Willow Creek. He reminded me of a model that he had developed (or extended) about reaching unchurched people.
Most are familiar with the drawing that shows a big chasm - you on one side, God on the other. You can't bridge the gap with anything. Then you draw the cross with the horizontal bar extending across the gap. Jesus bridges the gap for you.
Mittelberg extends this saying that the person on the left side of the gap, separated from God, has moved away from the edge. From his point of view, he doesn't see that gap. And even worse, there is a cultural gap that must be crossed to get the guy to the God-separating chasm.
This culture-chasm is the one we must bridge. That takes time. That takes trust. That takes a deep understanding of the culture and the power of God. That takes a new kind of church structure that thinks out of the box. That takes leaders who feel called to the mission and are willing to take huge risks.
Does that typically take 10 years? I would say at least 5. We are at year 3 and a half.
Also -- thanks to Darren at Living Room for linking to me. It makes me feel global. He has my second favorite blog next to Cooper's.