Oh, we got both kinds. We got Country and Western.
During my children's sermon today I showed the children two pictures for their identification, one of a hospital and one of an army.
I then proceeded to ask them if the church is more like an army, following Christ as we help His kingdom advance against the kingdom of darkness.
Or perhaps a church is to be more like a hospital, a place where people who are sick come when they need help getting better.
Of course, I presented them a fasle dichotomy, but they didn't go for it. They caught on and said a church should be both, not either or but both and.
Yes, a church should be a place not where the healthy are called, but sinners, for it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick (Luke 5:31-32). As agents of God's grace/peace, we who have experienced it, long to see it experienced by others.
Similarly, we are in a spiritual battle (Eph 6:10-18; 2 Cor 10:3-5). Christ doesn't want to get any reports that we're holding our position. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy.
It seems to me that such metaphors can be helpful, especially when evaluating where a church is in relation to these two concepts, tasks. A church is unbalanced if only striving in one area or the other.
At times, we see the creation of a distinction without difference (e.g., country AND western), making a bifurcation where there isn't one. However, in this scenario, the opposite is at work if two aspects which should characterize the church are allowed to be split into an either or choice.