I’m constantly being asked how to transition a church from purely attractional to truly missional. It’s a good question because if a church is purely attractional, it’s not really a church. So here is how I respond.

Essentials for Moving from Attractional to Missional

At least four things have to take place before such a transition can be made. Here they are:

  1. The organizational structure has to be changed by eliminating all committees and creating a small team that is responsible for all administrative tasks.  This assumes the staff is free to decide about the day to day ministry.
  2. Money has to be reallocated so that there is money for outreach ministries into the community that do three things: bless the people being served; bless the people serving; and create visibility for the church.
  3. The scorecard for success has to change.  Now success is measured by how much penetration into the community is achieved and how much transformation the church is causing in the community.
  4. The staff configuration has to change. Either every staff member must be responsible for planning and implementing weekly mission projects in the community, or the church hires a staff person to plan and implement them. Either way, the goal is getting 70% of the congregation to take their faith into the community.

Of course, none of this is possible without a radical paradigm shift with the leadership, both paid and unpaid.  This shift is from understanding church as a single place where people gather to anywhere two or three Christians gather in the world.  This shift is from an emphasis on growing the church to transforming the community. In other words, the shift is from us and our members to them and the least, the last, and the lost. Unless this shift happens, these four essentials won’t ever happen.

Question: What have you done to transition your church from attractional to missional? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.

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