Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Totally New Ministry Paradigm!!!!

Brothers and sisters, we are on the cusp of something huge. Once in a generation a new idea comes along that is so innovative, so amazing, that it provides a new ministry paradigm for the Church. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I think I just may have stumbled across such a paradigm, ladies and gentlemen.

You might be thinking, "Is he talking about the Emergent Church?"

Heh. Not even close.

No, this idea is so revolutionary it makes Brian McLaren look like a clone of John R. Rice. It makes Robert Schuller sound like Jerry Falwell. Prepare yourself for the future of Christian ministry, my friends. Let this essay mark the kickoff of the Brass Pole Movement!

I was first alerted to this idea by the estimable theologian and exegete Dr. Jessica Simpson. As many know, Dr. Simpson has quite a distinctive method of outreach. She has been ministering in non-traditional ways for a while, but she really began pushing the envelope in her video entitled, "These Boots Were Made for Walking." Some close-minded Christian organizations began criticizing her, saying that her methods were inappropriate (see this Softpedia article). A prophet is without honor in her hometown, Dr. Simpson.

At first I agreed with the criticisms, but then I read Simpson's devastating biblical defense of her new methodology:

"I think that if they're really good Christians the judgment wouldn't be there."

How can one argue with such resistless logic? Notice how succinct she is in stating her position! Sometimes one sentence is all it takes to show what a clear thinker you are, eh Dr. Simpson? You have revealed to us all exactly how deep your Christian worldview has impacted your thinking. Good for you.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Simpson's new model for outreach has changed the way I will view ministry for the rest of my life. The Brass Pole Movement (hereafter BPM) is a cutting edge way to draw in those who are not interested in traditional church. Every Sunday morning Frat Houses would sit empty, with young college men lining the front rows of our churches. And all because of the new "ushers" on the church's staff! What an opportunity!

Consider also how this could impact fundraising! Do you need to get your youth group to Central America for a summer mission trip? Three words: Bikini Car Wash. In the BPM, which is much more compassionate and far less judgmental, such things are possible! Even encouraged!

Won't you join me in moving toward this groundbreaking paradigm for ministry? It is a sad fact that upbeat music and therapeutic preaching just don't draw in some types of people, friends! We need to push the ministry envelope to draw them in. Otherwise, all we will have left is the Gospel, and we all know that won't work!

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