Instead of framing difficult circumstances as an opportunity for the church, we need to see it for what it is. A responsibility. When we do this, we’re more likely to keep our priorities straight.
People have enough stress in their lives. They’ve had goods and services sold to them through a false sense of urgency so often that there’s a built-in distrust of it.
In western culture, the resistance to the church and the message of Jesus (not necessarily the same thing) is not primarily based on ignorance, anger or even stubbornness.
They’re not upset or worried, they just don’t care.
The uncommitted person isn’t waiting for a cue that “this is the weekend to get the deal of a lifetime at your local church!” They’re not thinking about it at all.
Not only is urgency not the antidote to apathy, it’s the enemy of importance. Of joy. Of community. And of curiosity.
Urgency doesn’t pull new people in, it reminds them of why they’re staying away.
We have to start letting go of some of our long-held ideas about church and ministry. Especially when it comes to evangelism and outreach.
But it’s not always easy.
There are far too many pastors and churches that don’t consider ministry valid unless it happens within the walls of their church building.
But Jesus never called us to bring people into a church building. He told us to go to them. On the streets, in the marketplaces and at backyard BBQs.
If we’re going to reach the next generation, we’ll need to get much better at doing ministry from the church, not just in the church.
Keep your eyes and ears open to what’s already happening in your community through the members of your church. Then step up to help.
Last week’s blog post, Why Some Great Churches Never Impact Their Community, got a lot of feedback on Facebook, Twitter and email.
Several readers were concerned that I had been harder on the church than I needed to be.
I want to address those issues in today’s post by retelling my visit with one simple change. Instead of the visitor being me, imagine that the prospective guest was a new convert trying to find the church building for the first time.