Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Seeking the unchurched

In my experience in church work, it seems like more and more church-growth is designed around attracting those who are already committed to Jesus Christ. In other words, flyers are sent to houses in a neighborhood, advertising "great Bible teaching" or "relevant and exciting worship." And while those pieces are absolutely necessary to a healthy church, why are we advertising things that are only attractive to other Christians? It is almost like advertising a new restaurant, where we are trying to convince people who eat out that our food and service is better than their food and service. But this is missing the whole point of the Great Commission. We have to plant churches that will seek the unchurched, not move the churched. When we begin to think about this new perspective, what would need to change in our church planting? First, evangelism must remain central - how are the church members going to proclaim the gospel in creative and culturally-engaging ways in our communities? Second, how are we going to get believers outside the walls of the church (and even beyond the walls of their job) so that we are all building real relationships with unchurched people? Third, how are we going to help new believers actually get connected to the life of the church? Personally, I think this has to do with vision (keeping the goal always in front of us), coordinating evangelism through small groups, equipping our people to share their faith, and praying for our hearts to beat for those without the Savior.

No comments: