A few days ago I posted 6 trends that I see developing and that we will see more of in 2011. The final one of these is a healthier DNA–more of an outward focus in making new disciples.
Both mega- and micro-churches are currently growing mainly at the expense of the mid-sized community churches. I used to argue with God: wouldn't it be much better if we grew slower, but with primarily new disciples, so that what is going on naturally had a DNA that was missional. Finally I had to admit that God can do what he chooses, and I have no doubt that this is a move of his Spirit.
The simple/organic/house church movement is changing the face of the American church, and I believe there is no going back on those changes. However, I fear that we will become less relevant if we do not develop and maintain an outward focus.
Many people who have come from a traditional church background need to go through an important time of transition, of learning how a simpler Christianity functions. I don't believe God would want to multiply us in the early stages of this transition process if we have a negative attitude towards the legacy churches we have come from. But as we change, and become forward looking, it is essential that our focus turns to the world for whom Christ died. If not, God will raise up another movement that has his heartbeat for the lost.
There are many stories now of where simple churches have changed their emphasis to focus more on the harvest. In the next post I will look at some of the things an inward looking group can do to change their DNA.