Frost & Hirsch describe 3 pillars of the missional church, the first of which is an ecclesiology that's incarnational, not attractional. They go on to suggest five characteristics or implications of such an "incarnational" methodology (p.37-40):
1) "...provides us with the missional means by which the gospel can become a genuine part of a people group without damaging the innate cultural frameworks that provide that people group with a sense of meaning and history."
2) "...we will need to identify with [people groups] in all ways possible without compromising the truth of the gospel itself."
3) "...a real and abiding incarnational presence among a group of people." (i.e. locality & identification)
4) "...a sending impulse rather than an extractional one."
5) "...people will get to experience Jesus on the inside of their culture (meaning systems) and their lives because of our embodying the gospel..."
In Mt 8 a scribe tells Jesus he'll follow the Rabbi wherever He goes. Jesus replies, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
So here are my questions:
1) Should we ever build a church building? Would such a building qualify as a place to lay our communal "head"? What are the pros & cons of having a facility dedicated to "church life"?
2) How does building indigenous Christianity speak to cultural diversity? The Apostle Paul says we've been given the "ministry of reconciliation". If the church becomes fully indigenous & carefully avoids "damaging innate cultural frameworks", how do we shape culture in radical ways? Isn't there an element of separation... even in culture? Jesus challenged all kinds of cultural frameworks, right?
3) What if a culture is, in itself, evil? How would that scenario fit with people experiencing Jesus "on the inside of their culture"?
"Shaping of Things to Come" - 1