What’s your strategy for reaching the unchurched in your community? Have you even thought about it? You could read some books on the subject. Subscribe to a few blogs, this one in particular. Listen to the latest church outreach podcast. But, perhaps there’s a better strategy. You just need to start thinking outside the box.
In this particular instance, the box is the world of church growth, culture, leadership and a dozen other church buzz words. If you’ve been around awhile, you know what I’m talking about.
And there’s nothing wrong with church world. In fact, I enjoy it so much I bought a home here.
It’s just that it’s not always the best place to develop a strategy for your particular church and community. At least, not by itself.
You see before you apply the principles you learn in church world, you better know what’s going on in your world.
Because the communities we do ministry in can look vastly different from one another.
So, if you really want to learn how to reach the unchurched in your community, here are three ways you can get started.
- Get Involved in the Community
I know this seems obvious, but there’s still a large percentage of churches who have no community involvement. Make it a priority to involve your church in events the community is already doing instead of trying to do your own church event. Contact local schools and mission organizations and see if there are ways in which you can serve them as well.
- Listen to the People
Listen to the stories of people who aren’t going to church. What do their lives look like? What struggles do they have? Have they even been to church, or did they just stop going? Too often the church has wanted to do all the talking and hasn’t really taken the time to listen.
- Build Authentic Relationships
One of the elders in our church is an insurance salesman, and he’s one of the best in the entire state. He taught us his motto, “See the people.” He said in his line of work, you don’t make sales by sitting in the office. The same is true for us in ministry. We’re not making sales. We have a much more important job, to make disciples, and that doesn’t happen in an office.
So, this week and every week make it a habit to get into your community. Go to the local coffee shop or fast food place or wherever people hang out, and build some relationships with people outside of church world.
How often are you “seeing the people”? How has it helped your ministry? Leave a comment and let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get updates on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.