I am very glad that we have received a wake up call about reaching the unchurched. We have many times hurt people by trying “to church them” rather than “preach the gospel” to them. We have worked on their “outside man” rather than the “inside man.” We have preached about what they should “do” rather than who they can “become (be level).”
They came in our church and we didn’t open our doors, we didn’t give an appropriate welcome which God’s people should and would do if they only had the attitude of Jesus. We preach “externals” to them when the “internal” had not been fixed.
We didn’t give them “good news” but “religious news!” We told them what “to do” and not what had been “done by Jesus” on the cross of Calvary. We tried to make unsaved people live like saved people. We tried to clean them up without the Lord doing so and they returned to where they came from.
But that brings us to the question. Is “church for the unchurched” and I say no. Church is for saved people. By definition that is what a church is.
The church is a group of baptized believers that have joined together to carry out the Great Commission and honor God with their lives.
The church is where we teach people how to do the work. The work doesn’t take place inside the church building but on the outside as we go out and live our lives, interact with people, share our faith, etc. In Ephesians 4:11 and following we see that God gave gifted people to the church to train the church in how to do the ministry.
Church is not a spectator sport. It is rather a place where God’s people get together to grow and learn how to serve God. Church shouldn’t be dumbed down so that everyone can feel like they belong. The gospel of Jesus should be preach high and lifted up. They must know their need. They must be challenged to repent of their sins and believe God.
Our church people should go out and carry the gospel. They should win people to Christ and bring them to church. They should bring their lost friends to church knowing that the gospel will be preached to them clearly and passionately.
But we should remember that the church is “to go” not “call to come.”
There is a great deal to learn from the movement to reach the unchurched if you take it in balance.
We do need to clean up our buildings, make our nurseries better, have services that are planned and power filled, preach the gospel clear, etc.
We do not need to lower the level of holiness and desire to please God so that the lost feel comfortable.
The darkness will never feel very comfortable around the light but it may just get convicted enough to be converted.
What do you think?
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