Out of Context: Chad Hall

"When a church focuses on trying to grow, the larger mission suffers and the church can actually become less attractional."

-Chad Hall is a ministry coach living in Hickory, North Carolina, and the co-author of Coaching for Christian Leaders (Chalice Press, 2007). Taken from "Missional: Possible, Steps to transform a consumer church into a missional church" in the Winter 2007 issue of Leadership journal. To see the quote IN context, you'll need to see the print version of Leadership. To subscribe, click on the cover of Leadership on this page.

February 21, 2007

Displaying 1–10 of 12 comments

Paul Goddard

February 23, 2007  11:48am

Kat, I just like words and was inspired by the coining of a new word to create some of my own; just for fun. Your interpretation is pretty close though! Keep warm in Wisconsin. ;-)

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Kat

February 23, 2007  9:07am

Mike- Don't forget that Acts 2:44-47 comes on the heels of Peter's conscience-stabbing call to repentance on Pentecost in verses 21-39. God brought 3,000 into His Church that day. And verse 47 does end with "and THE LORD added daily those who were being saved." It seems that the message was the attractional feature here. Those who came just for the free lunch may never have really heard the real message of salvation. I think we have to be careful not to let the cart run away with the horse. Kat http://where-we-live.blogspot.com/2007/02/if-it-looks-like-duck.html#links

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mike rucker

February 22, 2007  8:16pm

man, i'm getting singled out here quite often of late. i'm truly flattered. the verse i quoted comes on the heels of this: 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. no mention here of great sermons. simply this: "enjoying the favor of all the people." i mentioned a couple of weeks back that i was trying to raise money for a girl who got pregnant at the school my daughter goes to. i sent out 300 letters asking for donations. i cannot begin to tell you how many phone calls i've had about what an impact this has had, to see someone take Acts 2:44-45 and help people put it into action. i suppose i could have preached, and tried to convict people with guilt, or threatened them with damnation. it seems, however, that the sermons that are most "attractional" are the ones that have no words. so pbbbbbbbbbbbt. :) mike rucker http://escroll.blogspot.com

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Kat

February 22, 2007  3:32pm

Mike, I know you have issues with hellfire and brimstone, but looking at the context of Acts 2, it seems that the original influx of new believers came after Peter nailed them for nailing Jesus to the cross. Funny how they gladly accepted that unattractive message. And funny how it seems to have immediately changed their whole perspective ... to the point where they sold their possessions to benefit others. And yet ... Even though they gained the approval of the people, they did not add one single soul to the church. God did. May none of us ever think that we can grow a church by the things we do. We can usher people into the pews (if we do pews), we can open free clinics, we can sell all we have to give to the poor, but we'd better make sure we don't dilute the message of man's need for salvation and Christ's provision. Because only God grows churches. Kat

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Kat

February 22, 2007  3:12pm

Paul Goddard- I do hate having to translate comments by the pros. I assume you meant that when a church outgrows its own britches, it gets so stuck on looking at the end of its own nose that it sees less of the world around it and actually scares away the people it might otherwise have reached. That's from a laywoman with no letters after her name. Kat

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Paul Goddard

February 22, 2007  10:43am

I think he means that when a church predominates on numeric effectuality, it can instigate such narrow foci that a contrary-to-missionality disposition may in factuality dissappropiate prospectives from their otherwise associative direction.

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Wayne Field

February 21, 2007  9:53pm

What makes a church "attractive" (and thus growing) is HEALTH. People want healthy relationships People want to experience healthy spirituality People want to follow healthy leadership People want to be inspired by a healthy vision People want to learn and grow through healthy teaching Hall is right when he says a focus on growth is an unhelpful distraction. The focus should be on balanced health.

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josh hawk

February 21, 2007  6:17pm

this is good. while trying to grow the church, our larger mission does suffer. i am all about growing from the inside out, not from the outside in. i find it much more attractive to focus on the people you have rather than the peolple you don't. when people see that we care about one another and love each other, that is what will grow the church. we need to make certain our priorities are straight.

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Melody

February 21, 2007  5:23pm

acts was "adding daily to their number,"... and their ways were/are a heck of a lot more "attractional" than hellfire and brimstone... Mike, you quote from Acts 2:41 I presume. Acts 2:38 says, "Repent...for the remission of sins"; Acts 3:19 "Repent...that your sins may be blotted out." Is this what you mean by "attractional"? I'm sure the sudden deaths of Ananias and Sapphira for their lies(Acts 5)really drew in the crowds. "Attractional" is a newly made-up word just like the word "missional". It's not that these words don't mean anything but the users of them seem quite keen to distance themselves from the old-fashioned salvation message which involves a Biblical repentance from sin.

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mike rucker

February 21, 2007  11:53am

my initial reaction was the same as brian's and geoff's, so i won't repeat it. however, i've always believed that loving God and loving neighbor would be the most attractive thing a church could do. acts was "adding daily to their number," and i think a lot of those added were seeing the good the initial christian community did, as well as the way it took care of its own. i think people were drawn to Jesus in the same manner and for the same reasons. and their ways were/are a heck of a lot more "attractional" than hellfire and brimstone...

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