Monday, October 23, 2006

Where is the capital of the future?

One snippet from Infuze Magazine's interview with Erwin McManus.
Erwin: We have very unashamedly gone after what's called the innovators and early adopters on the adoctored categorization. Are you familiar with that grid?

Infuze: No.

Erwin: There's a sociological grid - not created by Christians, just a part of normal sociology - that says that 2.2% of the population are the Innovators and 12.4% are Early Adopters. 34.1 are called Early Majority. 34.1 are Late Majority and 12.4 are what are called Late Adopters. 2.2% are called Laggers, but that sounds mean so we call them Nostalgics. It's just a natural bell curve.

Now, I think one of the cultural dilemmas in Christianity is that for the last 50 years, Christianity has been dominantly led by people on the far right end of the spectrum - the Nostalgics and Late Adopters. I just met with Larry King. I mean, I didn't meet with him but I was at an event where I got to talk with him. And the first thing he says to me is, "John MacArthur. He can't decide whether it's 1936 or 1937." And I thought here's a guy who's like eighty years old. You know, it's Larry King.

But I was so embarrassed because that's the reality that the Christian leadership is the Late Adopters or Laggers. So all we tend to reach are up to this Late Majority. Megachurches tend to reach this 70% - the middle Early Majority to Late Majority. These are the people who love clustering in big groups and they want to feel they are a part of the majority or they're not safe. Does that make sense?

Infuze: Absolutely.

Erwin: So what happened is that this movement of Jesus Christ, which started at the far left end... I mean, the book of Acts was the Innovators and the Early Adopters. These guys were risking everything. They shifted the sacred day from Saturday to Sunday. These guys were not connected to tradition or the past. They walked away from everything.

So they may have been fishermen, tax collectors and doctors but they had a certain connectedness. They were all willing to begin the new before anyone else thought that was right. So what's happened is that the church has lost this front 15% because, for one, it hasn't called people to vocational ministry who are at that end, who are willing to reach those people because they're hardest to reach. They disproportionally cluster in major cosmopolitan cities, which is why I'm in L.A. because L.A. is the capital of the future.
Oh... and here is another...
Erwin: I was just in South Africa and in some of the largest churches in the whole country. The largest is 18,000 people and they just built an exact replica of Willow Creek's sanctuary with 7,200 seats.

Infuze: Seriously?

Erwin: Yeah, they hired Willow Creek's architects and a frisbee throw away, you have informal settlements of people living in cardboard boxes and in bushes. So they're translating the wrong part of what we're doing well. I just thought, "Oh what a metaphor for the dilemma we have and the Western influence in the world."

via Lon

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