Friday, February 23, 2007

Are you Incarnational, Attractional, or Both?

"There are two kinds of pastors:

Those who are upset the church isn't going to the lost
Those who are upset the lost aren't coming to church."

-Ben Arment

Ben is the pastor of The History Church in Reston, VA.

I like the quote because it captures the difference between incarnational evangelism and attractional evangelism. Mike Frost is one of the most articulate spokesmen for incarnational evangelism. And Tim Keller also speaks around these concepts in his brief but excellent The Missional Church (pdf).

I personally believe that both approaches can be appropriate in certain contexts.


brad said...


i find myself agreeing with your title, particularly..."both".

i've really been rolling around in this exact topic... incarnational, attractional, or both.

i find your closing personal comment interesting and refreshing. the majority of the incarnational authors/bloggers that i've read do not leave much room at all for the potential of attractional to have any value. i have a difficult time throwing the baby out with the bathwater so to speak. i love what i've been learning about incarnational and how its changing me. however, i can't disregard all things attractional.

i'm still working through this, however i would like to add to Ben Arment's thought. for me, there are 3 kinds of pastors.

those who are upset the church isn't going to the lost...

those who are upset the lost aren't coming to church...

and those who are upset that both don't happen more.

thanks for the post:)


Stephen said...


good third category!

thanks brad.