Reformission Reflections from Confessions of a Reformission Rev. by Mark Driscoll.
- Which type(s) of people likely feel most welcome in your church of ministry? Why?
Filipinos with a traditional/conservative background. Our church is 90% Filipino in ethnicity, our official leaders are all Filipino, and our preaching pastors are all Filipino. Our senior pastor also has a special God-given burden for the salvation of Filipinos.
- Which type(s) of people likely feel least welcome in your church or ministry? What could be done to actively welcome those people?
Older men and women who are not Filipino. Some student visitors don’t feel welcome because of some cliques among the students. Our students can actively pursue, talk to, and care for our student visitors by getting to know them, understand them, and encourage them towards Christ in whatever way they particularly need it at that point in their life. Our church can appoint other men who are not Filipino and biblically qualified to eldership or deaconship so that there is more diversity that is visible to the congregation as a whole. We can state clearly and regularly from the pulpit that all ethnicities and people are welcome here to get to know Christ and this local church better.
- Why do people come to your church or ministry? What draws them in and keeps them committed?
People come because of the warm fellowship which has been encouraged by potluck lunches after the service. People hear the Word of God preached and so I hope many come for that. I think a love for Christ and a vision of what God can use the church to do for his glory keeps those who are committed committed to the church.
- Why do your people leave your church or ministry? Should anything be done to be more welcoming to those people who leave your church or ministry?
People leave for different reasons. The preaching might not be to their tastes. Our preaching is not always expositional. People also leave because the church may be a bit introverted and seeming to exist for itself rather than the community around it. They may also leave because of the slowness of change and the seeming impossible paradigm shift that would need to take place among the leaders to get the church in a direction that they might personally feel or think fits the mission of the church better. They may feel there are better ways to be more faithful to God and the church is not changing in that direction. Or they may leave because they don’t feel their needs are personally being met in the time or way they may think is necessary. For those who have serious burdens for the church and desires for greater faithfulness, we should listen to their concerns better and give it a more serious consideration. On top of that, we should have more flexibility to change directions or change methodology if Scripture and our context demands it to fulfill our mission.
- What agendas and missions that differ from that of your church or ministry have people tried to bring in? Were these ideas welcomed or rejected? What were the consequences of these people staying or leaving?
The mission of making social justice central. The agenda of acquiring a church building being too important. The mission of a better flowing church service on Sundays. Most of these ideas were rejected. The consequences of the people leaving is that some took social justice as the center piece and discouraged some of the church members who stayed, particularly the younger ones. The consequences of the people staying is that we have some discontented people in our church who complain and criticize but are slow to be part of the solution.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent, how good are the attractional elements of preaching and worship music at your church? What could be done to improve those scores?
I’d give our church a 3. We don’t preach even half the time in a way that would be attractional to unbelievers by defining terms and avoiding clichés. We don’t address unbelievers directly half the time and we don’t think enough through how they’d understand the sermon or singing (which is what I assume Driscoll means by “worship”). The things that could be done to improve our score is prepare and preach to believers and unbelievers. Address their concerns and objections and sketch Christ-centered answers.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent, how good is your church or ministry at equipping and sending people out to be missionaries where they live?
I’d give our church a 2. We teach Scripture and assume they’ll witness. We don’t model enough how to think on the level of worldviews to understand where people are coming from and why we might strongly and respectfully disagree with them. We don’t model evangelism well as leaders of the church either. We could improve by the pastors (including me) evangelizing more and being more intentional. We could speak to unbelievers every time we preach to our church. We could have evangelism training in a Sunday School class regularly.