Affinity Churches for Bikers & Cowboys

June 23, 2005 by

Gary Davis rides his Harley Davidson to church. Don Martin might not ride a horse to church, but he just as well with his Western-style shirt, cowboy hat and boots.

Both are pastors in affinity churches (it’s an AP story and thus all over the web), congregations designed to reach specific interest groups. Davis founded Church in the Wind, a biker church in Denver, after being told he couldn’t wear his biker outfit in a traditional church. Martin founded Happy Trails Cowboy Church in Taylorsville, N.C. They meet on Monday nights in arenas where rodeos are held (read more about cowboy churches).

The Southern Baptist Convention is leading the way with affinity churches, setting up 1,781 last year alone. And there’s something for everyone: golf churches, bluegrass churches, Gen X churches—though the biker and cowboy congregations seem to be the most popular.

“They’re considered affinity-based because they offer what people like, such as the cowboy lifestyle,” said Richard Harris, vice president of church planting for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. “When they find somebody that has the same passion that they do, that attracts them.”

While the churches may be catering to interests, the spiritual message stays the same. And some affinity churches appear to connect with other congregations: At Happy Trails as many as 40 “partners” attend the services but are still members of their home churches.

It’s a unique idea, a radical way to shake up the traditional idea of church and not only get more butts in pews, but ultimately Christ in hearts. I tend to like more diversity, but I suppose it’s a starting point, an introduction to Christianity. (link via John Carney)

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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19 Responses to “Affinity Churches for Bikers & Cowboys”

  • glenn
    June 23, 2005

    all the more reason to call the church nothing more than a glorified social club?


  • Brad Abare
    June 23, 2005

    I really don’t like this idea of affinity churches. Under the guise of like-mindedness, it disenfranchises and disconnects people who would otherwise be assimilated. The body of Christ (the Church) is not supposed to be classified and categorized by our externality, but blended and bonded with our eyes on eternity. While I am all for interest groups and connecting our similarities, that happens by nature of who we are as humans. We don’t need the church to further codify our cozy living.


  • Michael
    June 24, 2005

    What this should do is rattle our cage a bit…we have a problem:
    “…after being told he couldn’t wear his biker outfit in a traditional church…”
    I almost chuckle when I hear things like this. Almost. Isn’t it interesting that we are shaming people on our first reaction to initial sin – clothing.
    God doesn’t care what we wear or what we look like, he created us naked, it is sin that clothed those.
    If I walked in to one of these affinity churches, wouldn’t I feel the exact way they felt? There is a middle ground, but our personal taste must first be set aside. If a prostitute walked in off the street in her street clothes, looking like a prostitue how many churches would welcome her in and how many would tell her that she wasn’t dressed appropriately?
    It’s just another case of us thinking we’re better than everyone else and forgetting where we came from.


  • kevin
    June 24, 2005

    I tend to agree with you, Brad, though I still like the basic idea of engaging people based on their interests. But rather than an entire church, or even an entire service, I think these affinity churches would work better as affinity ministries. Why shouldn’t a church have a biker club and a golf club along with their single mom’s group or business person’s group?


  • Big Mike Lewis
    June 24, 2005

    I am suprised that churches are still insisting on dress codes in church as if God cares about our nice suits for that one hour a week….this is why people aren’t listening to churches anymore.
    Let’s remember that God said ” Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)
    “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices.’ For I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.” Matthew 9:13 (NLT)
    These affinity churches are reaching new Christians…something we’re commanded to do (Matt. 28).
    Great post!


  • eddie
    June 26, 2005

    “all the more reason to call the church nothing more than a glorified social club?”

    exactly!!

    “These affinity churches are reaching new Christians…something we’re commanded to do”

    what make you think that getting more butts in pews = reaching new christians? who are you kidding? more times than not, the only butts that do the filling in places like these are transplants from other churches.

    maybe it’s just me but i honestly don’t see the connection between “the great commission” and the need to get people to go to “church.” i guess it doesn’t really matter especially since most christians i know are only interested in what they get out of church and in “being fed.”


  • dave
    June 27, 2005

    I wish the article had said if the church that rejected Davis was another Southern Baptist church, because then these “affinity” churches become a convenient way for that denomination to segregate all the people whose appearance or interests differ. “No, you can’t wear that here, but we have another church set up for people like you.”
    I’d also like to know if the church that told him he couldn’t dress like that knew that he was a Christian, because the average unsaved person wouldn’t then leave and go start a church where they DID fit in. They’d leave and never come back, and if that was their first exposure to Christianity, they probably wouldn’t be too anxious to check out other churches.
    Kevin, I agree with you that these should probably be ministries, not separate churches. The problem with that, though, is that you still end up with bikers in the pews. And you know we don’t want that. We’re all a lot more comfortable with whitewashed tombs in power ties and floor-length dresses.


  • pj
    June 28, 2005

    I thought the whole purpose of Christianity was to lose my identity and now these guys are saying to find a church that caters to my identity.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • john myers
    July 5, 2005

    A pastor of a startup cowboy church here.
    Sunday morning is the most segregated hour. Or do people just have different tastes. When was the last time you worshipped with Aftican Americans, hard rockers, or, since it is 50% OF THE RADIO MARKET – country music?
    No, most Christian music is 18th century or New Age vibes.
    We reach people who haven’t been to church in Decades!
    We don’t pass the plate, point out the visitors, ask if you have a bible (newer than the KJV received when you were 8), whether you smoke (many do), drink (most do), have anything other than blue jeans or t-shirts (some don’t), have been divoriced (75%) and are embarassed about it in a regular church (most), know the words to songs, feel comfortable raising your hands and swooning about “loving Jesus”…
    So much of what we, seasoned Christians, take for granted the unwashed-unreached-unchurched have no interest in.
    Our baptismal didn’t cost $10k to build, we bought it for $129 down at the farm supply. Unchurched folks see right through stained glass, if you get my point.
    Most churches are only going to have a few hundred in them at most, so why not affiinity of a few hundred with a similar lifestyle/subculture.
    Only a relatively small percentage people in your community go to church. So why not reach those aren’t inside with affinity churches of their own.
    Why not within a regular church? If a regular church splits over kids in ballcaps, what about chains, boots, grease on the pews, manure on the carpet, smokers outside the door. Most churches can’t make the shift.
    Don’t think of many as “church”, think of it as a “mission”.
    Church planters often don’t want more of the same. They see the fields ready to harvest, dress like fieldworkers, adapt, and go out into the field. They are missionaries, in your community.
    Does your church have committees? How many years will it take your committee to decide which affinity group to target? If you don’t already know, then my point is proved. Open your eyes, the harvest is ripe. Grain doesn’t walk into the bins, the reapers go out!
    Who is your favorite singer? Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones…
    Creed, Coldplay, ..
    Pantera, Aerosmith…
    or Sandi Patty (ahhhhhhhh!)
    It is not about social groups in the church…it is about MISSIONS to SUBCULTURES AND CULTURES.


  • Bob Lister
    August 19, 2005

    Right on John Meyers! It’s about doing mission, even in America now, not doing church. It’s a whole different animal (horse?). that should be the end of this discussiun – probably not.


  • Ken McKinley
    November 22, 2013

    Pastor of a traditional church here.
    Sunday is the most segregated hour, so let’s segregate it some more with affinity churches? I don’t get the logic. There’s a cowboy church in our association (Southern Baptist), and they are in-fact reaching the cowboy/western culture. You know the culture right? The cowboys who own anywhere between 2 – 20 horses, and the $30,000 horse trailer, and $40,000 rig to pull it, and the $150,000 tractor. But the poor trailer park punk rockers sure feel uncomfortable going to the cowboy church… and the Emo subculture wouldn’t be caught dead there, and the Goths and Grunge crowd don’t feel welcomed at the cowboy church. The doctors and lawyers might show up since they themselves own a ranch and cattle, but the police subcultures aren’t really interested in going because they had to book a couple of the cowboys last Saturday night for DUI, and they don’t want to see them in the pew worshiping a god who is apparently unable to make them more like Himself. The surfer subculture folks keep getting laughed at when they say “Dude!” And the Native American’s really struggle to feel the love of Christ there. I don’t mean to be as harsh as I no doubt sound, but I have a couple of fundamental problems with the whole concept of affinity / niche churches. First of all – Is Christ divided? Secondly; is our identity to be found first and foremost in Christ or in our subculture? Thirdly; if differing subcultures cannot worship with one another is the answer found in creating an affinity church to keep the subcultures separate? Fourthly; do you think it possible that many don’t want to go to church because “There are none who seek after God?” Fifthly – When a church is composed of Christians who are united in faith and love, that church demonstrates that the Gospel has power to unite people who would otherwise be divided. It also shows that the gospel is not limited to any ethnic or social group, or to any subculture, but is rather a universally relevant message that calls all people to repent and offers eternal life to everyone who believes in Christ. Sixthly; if certain people cannot attend church with other believers, but instead feel the need to create their own church specifically marketed to a subculture, where everyone is the same (or at the very least, possessing similar interests, behaviors, likes, etc..) is the love “by which all men shall know we are His disciples” truly being displayed? And lastly; how can a Christian filled with the Spirit of God, not long to worship with his brothers and sisters in Christ, who also have the Spirit of God residing within them? Why wouldn’t he or she want to worship alongside them and fellowship with them and “do” church with them? And what does that tell the unbelieving world around them?
    I know that the Church has some problems… but I believe that these affinity churches marketed to specific subcultures are not the solution.


    • Sue
      November 24, 2013

      Ken, I appreciate your views on this.

      First, I have to write that it is sad that people would feel alienated from a traditional church because of their appearances or differences and the traditional church at large has done a disservice, it seems. The problem I have with affinity churches has been instead of tackling those issues head on, people have broken away from the traditional churches to form yet another church rather than unifying people, loving others, learning and growing with all the differences. Iron sharpens iron, and so, when people break off into groups they are most comfortable with, it is possible that some sharpening isn’t occurring. Anyway – here is what I am considering, since I will not rule out an affinity church because I’m not prepared to do so since I am first I am seeking scripture on it, I am nonetheless unsettled about them for the reasons you mentioned.

      I am exploring what scriptural backing there really is. I feel like without that backing then I have to tread cautiously & so that’s what I’m trying to do until I find the answer. There isn’t a ton of specifics in the Bible about how churches were set up – is there? We get glimpses, of course. Yet there isn’t specific scriptures to point to. I mentioned unity to someone and the retort I received is that affinity churches have unity in their churches and with traditional churches – they are all part of the larger body of Christ. We have scripture about males, females, servants, free, Gentiles, Jews – how all are one in Christ. Does that apply? Consider the African American – Caucasian delineation which I would think that most Christians would find sad and not Christ’s vision. Why create even more groups that delineate between Christians (as one said, perhaps ministry is better for sub groups)? I am slow to give scripture but rather I have to consider Biblical concepts that may or may not apply.

      Finally – when discussing this with someone, I was told that affinity churches are able to reach those whom traditional churches are not able to reach. My personal view is that it’s God’s spirit that draws people and if a lady or a guy is dressed up in traditional attire, God can still use that person to reach the biker or cowboy or so on. It’s God’s spirit that does the drawing, the eye opening — and to assume that you have to be relatable to the non traditional church goer with your attire and ministry style seems to negate the fact that Christ can use the straight laced person just as Christ can use a Christian biker to reach a business person. It’s about one’s walk with Christ. Anyway. The other side is that the apostle Paul became all things to all people (within reason). Paul used the culture around him to reach that culture.

      Thus, the difficulty I am having.

      Thought



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