On May 8-9 I attended the Doing Church conference in Pleasant Hill, California. One of the speakers, Michael Frost, Professor of Evangelism and Missions at Morling College, Sydney, Australia, was particularly stimulating.
He spoke about the missional church. He mentions that all churches have four main functions: worship, fellowship, discipleship, and mission. For most of its history, the Christian church has been organized around the worship function. Worship has been the central organizing idea from which the other functions radiate. What if, he says, the organizing function of the church is mission, rather than worship? What would the church look like then? Radically different and much more motivated.
I haven’t integrated all his ideas into my own understanding yet, but find them very stimulating. You can read more in his book: Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post Christian Culture (Hendrickson, 2006), ISBN 1565636708.
MP3 recordings of the conference are available online, if you’d like to listen. Prepare to be challenged.