I've been discussing an insight from George Barna's new book, The Seven Faith Tribes. Yesterday, I briefly recapped Barna's descriptions of two tribes of Christians: Casual and Captive.
What I found especially interesting is that these two tribes co-mingle in many of our churches. Barna didn't discuss this, but I have found both tribes in churches I've been a part of over the years.
This was an "ah-ha" moment for me to realize that if 80 percent of Christians are Casual, they often guide the helm of many churches. It is their comfortable warm fuzzies that direct the ministries and vision of churches.
This division of Casual and Captive explains to me the tension in many churches. The Captives are voluntary slaves. Slaves serve their master; conflict is irrelevant.
Meanwhile, the Casuals want peace and happiness in the church. They believe God wants them happy and comfortable.
I haven't yet formulated a response to this. What do we do when the Casuals generally have the vote and certainly hold the financial clout to press churches into a comfortable, peaceable climate? Does this honor God?
Barna comments on the Captives: "What they lack in numbers they make up for in passion and determination, based on their belief that what they do matters greatly to God and that His love for them compels them to respond in kind by seeking to influence the world for His glory."
Passion may trump numbers but it's not making a peaceful united journey. But which honors God?