Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Your Unchurched Neighbors Don’t Want a Watered-Down Sermon but They Might Want...

Your Unchurched Neighbors Don’t Want a Watered-Down Sermon but They Might Want This

Can you craft a message series for unchurched people and still be faithful to scripture?


Can you preach to a room full of churched people and unchurched people at the same time with the same message and help them both take a step in their faith?

Without a doubt, yes.

The question is how.

While a blog post can’t exhaust the subject, let’s get started and tackle the biggest issues in creating a message series that connects with unchurched people: angle.

Preaching to unchurched people is not about watering down content, preaching ‘baby’ sermons or avoiding hard subjects.

It’s really all about the angle you take on a subject.

Let me give you a recent example.

I wanted to preach through a biblical book recently, and I picked Esther.

I could have called the series Esther. But that would have been, well, interesting to people who like the book of Esther.

So, after thinking it through, I called it “Your Big Moment.”

After all, that’s what happened to Esther (and Mordecai, and Haman)—she had her big moment, when she least expected it. Because people can relate to wondering about whether or when their big moment will come, we found an angle that worked for churched and unchurched people. And I managed to cover the story of Esther in the process.

The problem with most message series is that they are focused on what the speaker wants to say, not what the listener wants to hear. If you only want to ever reach Christians, that’s a great strategy.

If you want to engage unchurched people, in my view, it’s a terrible strategy.

So where can you get ideas to find the angle?

Obviously, you should talk to unchurched people … but in addition to that, here are five ways you can stay on top of what people in your culture and community are thinking about:

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.