A visual metaphor for the attractional Church?
I remember the first time I swam in the ocean. What an experience - the shock of the salt water, the challenge of keeping up with the power and rhythm of the waves, the danger of the undertow as I was reminded by my mom every 5 minutes, and the complete peace with my surroundings. I even saw a stingray - It was awesome! Then I remembered going to a ‘wave’ pool at the water park. It was not quite the same experience to say the least, but it was easy to get in and relatively safe.
Too often, instead of going out into the ‘Kingdom’ to spread the ‘Good News’ to our community by sharing in life and relationships, we busy ourselves with trying to recreate the wonders and richness of the world to get people to come in. We try so hard to be the ‘ocean’ with our church services, music, coffee bars, bookstores, gyms, gift bags, and assorted targeted programs all in the relatively safe environment of the ‘pool’. Sadly, it can never truly compare, with the worlds offerings, and usually goes unnoticed except by other churches who attempt to clone or critique it. Instead, we should focus on being out in the ocean, living life with our community and being an example of Jesus where they are. This is how the kingdom will be built and was modeled by Jesus!
It’s still good to meet with our friends & family in the comfort & safety of the ‘pool’, but let us never forget to stick our feet in and brave the ocean!