Was chatting over lunch to a guy about the idea many churches have of a slope of activities that lead to faith and church attendance. The idea of contact work, leading to socials, to small groups, maybe alpha and then sunday worship alongside which faith and belonging develop.
I wonder where this comes from and if anyone has any research to suggest it works. Is it another case of having a shallow theology of church and looking for methods that fit this? Joe Myers questions many of these assumptions about belonging. However I wonder how much a deep ecclesiology that is more missio dei in focus and maintains that Christ came that we may have life in all fullness enables us to see the value of each activity in and of itself without needing to see that it fits into a slope and thereby placing a value judgement of one kind on another.
This links to the redefinition of churchidea. Recenty I have been looking at a community profile of the town we are moving to and have been asked to speak to a local church mission group. It would seem that from the profile and capacity within the church there is scope for a family event. A kind of dick and dom meet ant and dec in Noels house party, with quizzes, gameshow, food, live band etc but with a level of intentionality (see point 5) that is in line with a deep eccelsiology and not part of a slope idea. Yet this would be a huge culture shift for the church.