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I remember years ago attending a Catalyst event and hearing Andy Stanley talk about how the “tension is good.” I’m a both-and kind of guy anyway – that’s just how I’m wired. I’ve already blogged before about the tension I feel between evangelism and discipleship at my church. The tension I’ve been wrestling with lately is between being an attractional church and a missional church and leader (as you can see on my Twitter profile above).

As I’ve said before, we’ve been studying Deep and Wide as a staff and leadership team at my church. We focus our Sunday morning experiences a lot like North Point, yet like the book suggests, we hope to be both deep and wide. We are an attractional church – there’s no way around it. We put a lot of effort into our Sunday morning experience (worship, tech, first impressions, children) and we hope people far from God feel welcomed and right at home when they visit.

However, I’ve also been reading a lot of missional books lately and hanging out with some very missional friends (Forge Joplin, Hugh Halter and I’m getting ready to attend Sentralized in KC). I love the concept of a missional God and living as one sent – living a life of a missionary. As I heard Hugh speak on this a couple of weeks ago, I told him, “This is how I’ve been living since college – since I was 18 years old!” I go to the same restaurants and coffee shops and build relationships. I’m very involved in our community. I love serving. I love leaving the actual church building.

So, I’m here today to simply say the tension IS good! I’m wrestling with this tension between attractional church and missional living. The good news is they are not opposites and you don’t have to choose one or the other. I’m actually pursuing a Masters in Missional Leadership and am excited to continue to grow in both areas of my ministry. What about you? Where do you fall on this issue? How’s your tension?

*** For more on this tension, read this article from my friends at FaithVillage.com.

Greg Atkinson

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