More from Jim Petersen's book, "The Insider":
Chapter 5 & 6– The Insider, the mission, and the church
To be effective as “insiders” we will learn to connect with people “where they are, on their turf, and at times when they are available. Some unbelievers will respond to the idea of participating in the activities of the church, but increasingly large segments of our society will not. This can be difficult for many of us to understand and accept. What we have works for us in our church, we reason, and we can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work for others as well.”
Part of our difficulty is in our popular definition of church. It has become a place where people meet for certain activities. Our sense of identity has shifted from being a people who are sent into the world to being a place where people congregate to worship.
Petersen contends that if we are going to reach people on their turf, and involve them in meaningful worship, then we are going to have to look at our current form of “church” and recognize its need for reform. We are still depending on a “come to” and “listen to” approach that is not effectively engaging the unbeliever where he or she is at.
The church has become so marginalized to the mainstream of the culture that when such people do come to believe in Christ they often don’t find the existing churches to be viable places for them. It is better, in those situations, to help new believers become the community for one another.
I (Roger) say, “here, here.” How exciting to lift up the calling and ministry of the “Insider” who is able to live a kingdom life everyday and then discover new ways to gather those who come to Christ. A whole new Christian movement, outside the walls of churchdom, in the marketplace, taking Christ wherever His Body goes!