Multiplication Center

Missional is the New Attractional

September 28, 2015

By John Poitevent

fossil-group-volunteers2There has been an ongoing debate among people who like to debate such things, as to what is more important for a church to focus on evangelistically; being attractive to outsiders coming in, or reaching out to the community and the world. The two models can be summed up by the language of “come and see” versus “go and tell”. We see both of these strategies used in the story of the The Great Banquet in Luke 14. But does a church have to choose one or the other? Can a “go and tell” culture be more effective at encouraging millennials to “come and see”?

While speaking to our “Millennials, Nones and the Next Gen” HUB group, John Seel challenged us to reframe our stereotypes of millennial culture. His hypothesis was this: what if millennial values are actually scriptural ideals that should be exhibited by Christians? What if by intentionally appealing to millennials, the church could become more like… Jesus? We identified three key values of millennials as: Authenticity, Spiritual Humility and Social Responsibility.

Recently, a friend who is a corporate recruiter shared with me that one of the top questions she hears from prospects is, “ What is this company’s CSR model?”. Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) begins with compliance to regulations within an industry, however some companies go beyond this to engage in transformative work in their community or the world. Social responsibility has become a corporate buzz phrase for what we would call “missional engagement” in the church. Millennials place such a high value on Social Responsibility that a robust CSR program is seen as an effective recruiting tool by more progressive companies. Recent studies suggest that millennials will accept a lower wage from a company that is doing more good(1).

“In one experiment, candidates who received information about an employer’s CSR submitted wage bids that were 44% lower, for the exact same job, than applicants responding to ads where the CSR information was left out.”

If millennials are more attracted to a company because of their missional engagement, what about a church? For all the criticism millennials receive, they seem to be drawn to a organizations that focus on the mission more than the production.

3 Reasons Why a Missional Model Attracts
• Millennials want to be a part of movements that attempt to fix what is broken in the world.
• Millennials want to take part in the work, not just hear about it.
• The kingdom of God is attractive! When people see the hands and feet of Jesus in action, it is both beautiful and endearing.

We cannot forget that the gospel is the reason for the mission. We must share the good news along with our good deeds, and serving together builds relationships that open the door to deeper conversations. A neighbor or co-worker is more likely to say yes to an invitation to serve the poor than to attend a Sunday service. As they serve with us, and experience the family of God in person, they don’t just hear the gospel, they actually see it lived out. And that is attractive.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

Does your church need to make a missional shift? At HUB:Missional Engagement, we will be addressing these issues and more as we seek to engage every member in the mission of the church. Consider joining us on this journey: 3 gatherings over 12 months for eternal impact. For more information on HUB:Missional Engagement visit or call us today at (214)546-1377.

Our Missional Engagement Webinar is now available for streaming. Myself and Eric Swanson, author of The Externally Focused Church, share practical steps toward getting every member of your church engaged in the mission. We have included a PDF with all of the graphics and charts as well as questions for your team to process together. Click here to download: MISSIONAL ENGAGEMENT WEBINAR


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