I have had an issue on my mind for a while as the missional vs attractional debate rages (see Out of Ur and Reclaiming the Mission for some insights).  The issue is how to express the incredible variety of options in this debate.  While listening to my son’s VeggieTales Incredible Singing Christmas Tree CD I suddenly realised how to express my options – Missional Vs Attractional Caroling.  I hope you enjoy, only some of this is based in my experiences.

Missional: A congregation who knows each other really well goes to the streets and sings carols that mention Christ.

Attractional: The congregation invites people to a building to hear contemporary and traditional carols that mention Christ.

Contemporary: The congregation invites people to a slick presentation including a sermon and carols that mention Christ.

Traditional: The congregation invites people to a service with traditional hymns and a badly performed nativity re-enactment of the birth of Christ.

Activist: Organises a community carols where the drunk unbelieving mayor inadvertently gives an altar call to Christ.

Reflective: Decides that carols are too noisy and a silent retreat is held from December 23 – Jan 1.

Reformed: Invites people to hear the preaching of the word and experience the sacraments rightly administered as backed up by selected very scriptural carols.

Contemporary Pentecostal: Carols are sung in tongues to contemporary music.

Traditional Pentecostal: King James era carols are sung in tongues to traditional music.

Evangelistic: The congregation sings carols and a minister preaches a message requiring people to be born again to really enjoy Christmas.

Social Justice: The pews are filled by the homeless and they don’t really know the words someone tries to get them to sing before they receive a free meal.

Liturgical: The congregation sings traditional hymns, celebrates the mass/communion and believes that everyone else baptised is a Christian and should be at church like them.

Low Church: The congregation sings contemporary Christmas choruses and believes that everyone else should be baptised in a church like them.

Prosperity Gospel: The congregation invites people to a service which includes traditional carols, a sermon and a tithing message on the need to give to support the church over the holiday period.

Hyper-Faith: The congregation has faith that their carol singing will impact the world.

Liberal: The congregation invites people to a service which includes carols with no mention of Christ, has a Rabbi speak on Hanukkah and a sermon based on the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.