The following is from Jennifer Oxford, one of our Leadership team in Atlanta for the Catalyst Conference.
Erwin McManus took stage and continued to expound upon the very clear message of the entire Catalyst event...that it's not about formulas...the church, I mean. That there are no formulas that will enable a church to structurally meet every person's needs. Currently, when a new believer joins a church they are plugged into the structure where the church needs them most. They are discipled and led in ways that make them all look the same. For people outside of the church, who inherently know (and cling to the fact that) we are all unique, the sameness of the church, and the structure that they are potentially being asked to fit into doesn't work.
God made us each with our own passions, desires, visions and gifts. As with any Erwin message I've heard before (which sums a total of three including this one–all of which I have cherished by listening to and sharing the CDs long after the live version) he hits many different topics all in the same vein, and addresses them all singly to culminate in a full circle message.
Erwin underlined the idea that in order for a church to meet the needs of such a diverse group it needs to give up being so structured around what a church "needs" to look like, or the programs it "ought" to have or the formulas that it "should" use. He shared stories of his daughter and son to demonstrate on a small scale how different people in the same family (i.e., body of Christ) have been made. Mia is kind-hearted and filled with mercy; she feels badly if she doesn't kiss and hug every stuffed animal in her bedroom good night, for she might hurt one of their feelings. His son demonstrates a gift of maturity ...