Home Outreach Leaders 4 Things To Remember When Trying To Reach Unchurched People

4 Things To Remember When Trying To Reach Unchurched People

3. What You Get People With Is What You’ll Keep Them With. 

A wise pastor once told me, “Be careful about how you get people into your church building. Because what you get them with is what you need to continue to do to keep them.”

You might be able to pack your church building with services that feature an abundance of free food, special high-profile guests, and antics such as the pastor riding out onto stage on a Harley Davidson. Those aren’t necessarily bad things in and of themselves, and there are certainly benefits to special events that generate particular excitement. (Though, some of these tactics can be somewhat dated and now generate varying levels of engagement.)

Nevertheless, if you become known as the church of gimmicks and over-the-top promotions, and that constitutes your entire appeal through the community, that is what will be required of you to continue to drive attendance and engagement.

For one thing, you probably don’t have the resources to sustain that. For another, it wouldn’t be the best use of resources if you did have them. Because, ultimately, those aren’t even the things that Jesus is well known for, nor are they the most central to his mission. 

Conversely, if people become interested in your church because it is a consistent presence in the community, meeting needs in real time, praying for people, providing physical resources for people in crisis situations, showing kindness to people wherever you encounter them, and providing insightful and biblical teaching and worship whenever they come to one of your services, these are things that provide a window into what life with Jesus is actually meant to be like. 

Further, these are things that you can sustain in perpetuity.

4. In Order for Hearts to Change, the Holy Spirit Must Move.

For all of our strategies and efforts, church leaders must continually teach themselves to remember what they’ve always known to be true: unless God moves, lives will not change. 

This isn’t an excuse to put in a half-hearted effort and feign faith in God’s sovereignty. Rather, it is an invitation to humility, prayer, and the recognition that we are engaging in supernatural work. So be just as committed to meeting with the God who accomplishes the impossible as you are to meeting with your staff and volunteer teams who strategize and execute community outreach. 

We are called to strive to do everything possible “that by all means” we might win some (1 Corinthians 9:22), but at the same time never forgetting that, at the end of the day, it is not us who does the saving. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, moving through the message of the gospel, to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus. 

Whenever God chooses to use us for that mission, it is cause for us to both be humbled and rejoice.