Luke 5:16

Revolving Door

revolving doorsI just read a blog post by Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC.  One of the descriptions he used for NCC was that they were a “revolving door” church:

We experience, on average, 40% turnover per year. So we have a new congregation every two and a half years. The wonderful thing about that is that we have extended family all over the place. We’re almost like this revolving door church that is always sending people out.

He doesn’t see this as a problem, but it is definitely a challenge to try and grow while continually losing 40% per year.  But my thoughts take a different direction.  What if one of the goals of every church was to be a “revolving door” and intentionally and constantly disciple and then send people out?  Many churches would balk at the idea of having a new congregation every two years, or even the fact that the numbers never really grew, but stayed the same.  But what a beautiful way to “go into all the world and make disciples.”  Why has it become the status quo to grow in numbers only and stay in one location?  And why do we insist on patting ourselves on the back  for bringing extra people into that one place, instead of praising God for the impact that we have had throughout the world?

I really think it’s time for the church to change its methods.  I know, I know, you’ve heard it all before, and who am I to step up to the plate with the likes of Mark Batterson to make change happen?  Who am I, indeed!  I am a shepherd, I am a fisherman, I am a tax collector, I am zealot, I am a disciple, I am an apostle, I am a new creation, I am who God made me to be.  We, the church, as a community under Christ’s reign, can be all things to all people.  It’s sad, though, that we want to stay walled up in our buildings and protected from the outside world, only to invite people inside in order to try and show them what we can be.  Our example in the world must take place outside of our four walls.  It must be visible and relevant to the world around us, not just to those who choose to walk in our front doors.  But if they do choose to walk in, we must also be prepared to send them back out.

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