Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Church Personality

As I ready the talk for Element's upcoming Vision Night, one thing I want to cover is the idea of Element's "personality." The primary theme of this site, and the passion of my life, is reformation of the discipleship cultures of evangelical churches. This theme is a reflection of the assumption that every church has a unique culture, its own DNA formed by a variety of factors including but not limited to the makeup of the congregation, pastoral influences and direction throughout its history, and the current vision and week-in-week-out shepherding and preaching it receives. These things contribute to the discipleship culture of a church, determining how deep or wide it is, how committed to spiritual growth and maturity it is on a corporate level.

And as societal cultures have personalities, so do discipleship cultures.

So I've been thinking how to describe the personality of Element's culture. Collectively I think our church personality approaches to varying degrees:


And of course each of those characteristics will need unpacking in the talk.
"Simple" refers to our structure and programs, our functionality. "Grace-driven" refers not merely to message themes but to the quality of life within our community, the way our folks interact with each other and with outsiders. And "missional," that buzzword dujour, refers to the lot of it -- philosophy and practice.
Each of these characteristics is Element-flavored, of course, as what is simple or missional for one church may not be simple or missional for another.

Maybe more later . . .

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