A Brief Review of AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church

Posted: March 6, 2013 in Book Review, Church Growth, Church Planting, Missions
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Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, And: The Gathered and Scattered Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 2010. 208 pp.

AND is an attempt to reconcile the attractional model of church with the missional model. The attractional models focuses on bringing people into the church, then discipling them. The missional model focuses on sending disciples into the world, where they can be incarnational, and make other disciples. Halter and Smay reconcile the two approaches with the idea that BOTH are necessary.

The three most insightful thoughts, in my opinion:

1. The missionary flow – engaging culture, forming community, structuring congregation. Even working backwards – starting from established structures, all three steps are necessary. (54)

I appreciated the inclusion of both directions – starting from scratch, as well as starting from structure. I also appreciated the terminology – that this is a missionary flow. The U.S. church could learn much by listening to missionaries who have a lot of experience engaging culture. We are forced, from the very beginning, to closely examine the cultures that we have voluntarily joined. The North American church of today is living in a culture that is nearly as foreign as is the eastern European culture that I live in. I can help my American friends by dropping hints about how to study and learn the culture they live in.

2. Engaging the culture – becoming good friends with people – takes 2 years. Everywhere. (57)

This was an eye-opening comment. We do expect it to happen much faster, and then wonder why it doesn’t. In our own ministry, we wondered why it took that long to get to know our neighbors, why it took so long to get invited to someone’s house. Even after the barrier of Polish was overcome, friendships didn’t develop quickly. So, the idea that a church can be planted, from scratch, in less than 2 years is a pretty crazy one. But, we continue to expect just that. In fact, when it doesn’t happen, we get more tempted to take shortcuts, such as inviting people from other churches to come join us (sheep-stealing), or we get very discouraged, and think that something is very wrong with us that no one wants to be our friend. It just takes time!

3. Modalic and sodalic are both necessary arms of the church – but in order to bring balance our intention must begin to lean toward the sodalic. (133)

Halter and Smay simplify their terms with this short explanation: “Modalic structures tend to focus on caring for those who are already inside the structure. Sodalities push toward those on the outside.” (129)

I think that I am more involved in the sodalic than the modalic, even though I am a pastor. However, I need to take an intense, honest look at ministry. It could be that, because of my learned church culture, I am mistaken, and spend more time than I realize caring for those in the structure, or even just caring for the structure! (God forbid!)

If you are in the U.S., and interested in the discussion about missional church, this is a book you should read. If you aren’t in the U.S., and are interested in the American discussion about missional church, this would be a good book to read. If you aren’t in the U.S., and aren’t particularly interested in this uniquely American dichotomy – I wouldn’t bother reading this book.

I believe the church in most of the world figured out a long time ago that both attractional and missional are vital.

However, if you are interested, you can buy the book here: AND at Amazon

Comments
  1. Kim says:

    God’s word is inspiring! God is Good all the time, All the time God is Good (learned that at Westide.) I need him more than ever to be my cetenr, my strength, my committment. To Love as He love’s and to be in relationship with Him and other’s ~ Once I thought I was relational and now I think I was not. Now I want to be in relationship with Him and with other’s (struggeling to find a way.) Thank you for your dedication to share Revalation Knowledge with us He hears my cry and come’s to me and sometime’s it is through you. Be Blessed as you have been a blessing!!

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