Studies have shown that many church members don’t do evangelism. Fear is often a primary obstacle, but so is the reality that many of us are cocooned and insulated in the church—thus, we’re disconnected from the very people we’re called to reach. Here are some signs that you’re cocooned in the church world:
- You don’t really know many non-believers. You may have non-believing neighbors, acquaintances and co-workers that you know at a surface level, but you don’t really have strong relationships with them that facilitate evangelism. Most of your life takes place around believers.
- You see the world not as a mission field to reach, but as an enemy to avoid. You take “Be in the world but not of the world” to mean “Don’t even be in the world so that you’ll avoid being of the world.” You’re more afraid of the world influencing you than you are committed to influencing the world for the gospel—so you avoid the world at all costs.
- You plan to be in church every time the doors are open, regardless of other obligations you may have. I know this position is a debatable one, so please hear me out. I want believers to be faithful to join the gathered saints (Heb. 10:25), but that doesn’t mean there are never times when missing a church event for the sake of others is justified.
- The church world is where you find your self-worth. When you find your purpose and value in positions you hold in the church—rather than in your position in Christ—you’ll cloister yourself in that world. That’s where you feel most significant (and often, most powerful).
- The only persons you pray for are other believers. While praying for one another in the family of God is crucial, a lack of intercession for non-believers and the unchurched implies a heart that’s too narrowly focused. It suggests that we’ve insulated ourselves from the spiritual needs around us.
- You drive by neighbors you don’t even know to get to your church family on Sunday morning. You recognize their faces, but you may not know their names. Or, if you do know their names, you don’t know their stories. They’re just a face in your peripheral vision as you focus your attention toward believers.
- Your primary understanding of evangelism is “Y’all come to us.” You want people to hear the gospel, but you view evangelism as the work of the pastor when everyone’s gathered for worship at your church. Even if you’re the pastor, you evangelize primarily from the seemingly safe place of the pulpit.
So, what’s your assessment of your own life? Are you cocooned?
This article about being cocooned in the church world originally appeared here.