Eastside Baptist has been evolving or morphing over the last 4 or 5 years. Allow me to explain.
Early on, our existence as a church was the ATTRACTIONAL Model. The Attractional Model of doing church is concerned with getting the community in the church building. The church building is were all the “action” takes place. Ministry cannot happen unless it takes place inside the church building. Eastside started shifting away from this model 4 or 5 years ago to the MISSSIONAL, EXTERNALLY FOCUSED CHURCH MODEL.
The Missional, Externally Focused Church Model is concerned with getting the church in the community. In other words the church has left the building. The church is developing and forging intentional partnerships within the community. A popular spiritual campaign that promotes this model or movement is “Be the Church” Spiritual Campaign. Another proponent of this movement is the Externally Focused Network. This movement is about unleashing small groups to do ministry anytime, anyplace, anywhere. This is where Eastside is currently entrenched. We are seeking to make serving as our DNA! We are very established in this model but we have a long way to go.
The future model which Eastside’s Elders desires for us to move toward as a congregation is the INCARNATIONAL MODEL. This is were you are the church wherever you are! This is YOU being the hands and feet to the people in your community/neighborhood. This is where you invite people into your life to do life with you. It’s relational. It’s powerful. It’s transformational. This is where you take the GOSPEL to those in your neighborhood through relationships. This is passion-driven rather than program-driven. This is organic or emerges from who you are rather than being organized.
In closing, Eastside understands that we need to maintain a balance in all three of these arenas. Where are you personally? Where is your small group? Your family?