Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Reaching and Engaging the Unchurched: Two Articles

From ‘Sit Back and Watch’ to ‘Get Up and Go'

Want to reach the next generation? Empower them to participate by using their gifts.

According to church researcher Ed Stetzer, 86 percent of unchurched people say they can have a good relationship with God without belonging to a church. Perhaps you’ve heard someone say something like, “I don’t need to go to church. If I want to listen to a sermon, I’ll download something from the Internet. If I want to worship, I’ll get my favorite songs off iTunes. Watch the show at church, or watch it at home—what’s the difference?”

How do you answer that? Keep reading

Also see
Study: Unchurched Americans Turned Off by Church, Open to Christians

How to Stay Connected With the Unchurched

He was the pastor of a large and growing outreach-oriented church. When he asked if we could meet and talk about reaching lost people, I was glad to carve out a lunch to meet him. After a few minutes of introductions, we ordered our food, and he launched into a barrage of questions all listed on his yellow pad of paper: “What outreach programs are working at your church?” “How do you get your board to invest more money in outreach?” “What is your best evangelistic sermon?” He fired question after question, and I tried to give helpful answers.

Right about the time our food came, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me to ask him two very specific questions. I felt a little awkward because I knew he still had a big list of questions, but I looked at him and asked, “How much time do you spend in a normal week with people who are not yet followers of Jesus?” He looked at me, and then looked down at his food for an uncomfortable amount of time, saying nothing. Finally he looked up and locked eyes with me with a very sober look on his face. He did not speak, but simply lifted his right hand; placing the tip of his thumb against his pointer finger, he made a circle. He swallowed and said, “None! I am so busy doing ministry, I don’t have time to invest in nonbelievers.”

I asked my second question, “How many friends do you have that are not Christians?” The look in his eyes gave the answer—none! Keep reading

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