In our house I am surrounded by Leggo. This is a result of having a family, now of several generations, who are Leggo fanatics. I reckon you name it and we can make a Leggo model of it! As the family gathered over the most recent Christmas it looked at times like it was the world Leggo championships!
I think one of the great attractions of Leggo is that with a little imagination it is possible to make an almost infinite number of different models from the same set of pieces. This I think provides us with an image that is useful in explaining the ‘Unbounded Church’ concept of more creatively using the NT voiced principles for Christian Community (spiritual Leggo pieces) to increase our missional effectiveness.
“The standard Sunday-Centric church “is a model that served us well while
our society was a Christendom one, say up to the second world war, or
even in the second half of the 20th century when we were still a largely
(although decreasing) Christianized culture. But now no more”
Imagine the New Testament is like a box of Leggo, with each piece representing one of the principles for Christian community. What we have done over several centuries is to repeatedly build the same model of church out of them, the one we are familiar with. By this I mean the standard Sunday-centric church, usually meeting in a sizeable building, with ‘standard’ services, a model which has become pretty much the standard platform for mission. It is a model that served us well while our society was a Christendom one (say up to the second world war, or even in the second half of the 20th century when we were still a largely (although decreasing) Christianized culture. But now no more, and our single model spiritual Leggo church has been failing us for over 20 years, and more importantly failing God’s mission.
Here is where I suggest we need to play NT Leggo. By this I mean to take the pieces of spiritual Leggo, the principles for Christian Community contained in the NT, and instead of repeatedly constructing the same ‘SIC’ church model do ‘something radically different’. The something radically different’ being to assemble our spiritual Leggo pieces into a wide variety of ‘Missional’ models each specifically designed to penetrate and embed in the various cultural universes where non-Christians now live, the universes where the church most emphatically is not!
It is in fact ‘Time for Leggo’!