Monday, June 15, 2009

Christian: Casual and Captive

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?

2 comments:

Carmen7351 said...

We need balance in the church. Captives must do things in love. Casuals need their souls stirred up.

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Well said. Captives probably struggle some with impatience and a critical spirit when working with their Casual church-mates. But Casuals can dilute the message to a watery grave.