Targeting people for our church

Sam replied to my previous post:

I see the greatest implications of your post on new church plants. They too often target a particular niche in an area, but if there are so many competing cultures, should they focus on one or a few and "market" to those or not?

I think that maybe we should have a variety of different style of churches (or programs
within a larger church) that would be able to reach out to the niche cultures. There isn't a cookie cutter church any longer. I would be excited to go to a town and see churches that are all completely unique from one another in the non-essentials.

In the sixties, churches were planted by moving into a town with a building and a minister. That evolved into moving into a town with a minister who established a congregation, then they built a building. Now, I propose that there is no right mold (oooh - so postmodern) to plant a church. Church planting used to be an expensive endeavor, but it needs to not be that way any longer. We need new (or reformed) church planting organizations that are training laypeople to plant churches left and right. But I digress.

Sometimes a church needs a building and/or a paid minister. And sometimes a church would be more effective without one or both. We need to be sensitive to the community we are planting the church in and the people there that need to learn to be complete disciples of Christ. And in being sensitive to that and, most importantly, to what God calls the church to be, we will create churches that effectively change our cultures into what God desires them to be.

We also need churches and programs that reach each culture in America. None should be excluded because they aren't the rich group or not the larger group. We look down on churches that minister to the biker crowd or the twenty-somethings as if they are targeting a certain culture and that is a bad thing. But where is the equal scorn for the church that consists of mainly middle class white folk, upper class white folk, or the church that only has new people who have young children. Every church is targeting a certain audience by what they are doing. Whether they are targeting people like themselves because they are doing what they enjoy or they are targeting an older generation because they refuse to change, every church is targeting some crowd.

But this all frustrates me. I want a church that is just focused on glorifying God. But is that targeting someone? Does that bridge the gap to our culture so I can effectively help people become complete disciples? Is that possible? Arrggh!

Watch out for the potholes.