Over the weekend, a group of 12 young adults and I drove down to Tallahassee, FL. to help launch a new church plant, The Well. This is a fast-growing church that is culturally relevant, but preaches the revealed truth of God's word without apology. The pastor, Dean Inserra, has become one of my best friends, and I cannot stress enough the potential he and his young church have.
They are one of the few churches I have been with that "get it." Unlike many "contemporary" churches, they don't believe sitting on a stool and singing "Shout to the Lord" make you culturally-relevant. When I say they "get it," I mean they understand that Americans are now living in - not approaching - a post-Christian culture and if we don't transform our thinking they church will continue to lose it's legitimacy.
This truth is as evident in Tallahassee as it is anywhere in the country. Tallahassee is not only the capital of Florida, it is a college town (FSU, Florida A&M, and TCC). Just take FSU, for example. Among the thousands of incoming freshman seminoles, 77% claim "no religious affiliation." In addition, only about 20% of Tallahassee residents will attend a religious service in a given week. But you wouldn't know this from driving through because the streets are littered with massive churches and massive, empty parking lots. I am convinced that churches must transform their thinking, and not just in Tallahassee.
One of the appealing things about the emergent church movement to me is that they grasp this concepts. They tell us that the United States is a mission field much like other countries in other continents. After all, how many of us even used the word "missional" before the gestation of emergent and emerging leaders?
The difference between evangelism and missions in American gets smaller and smaller. Like Dean and The Well, we must transform our minds and start being the church where we live, eat, work and play.
Does your church "get it?"
Tell me about your own mission field.