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Is It Any Wonder That 87 Percent of the Unchurched View Christians as Judgmental?

2. How is the condemnation thing working for you to bring in the condemned multitudes?

3. How would it work if businesses and other organizations took a similar approach? In the face of a downturn, would they gain ground by blaming and deriding their customers and prospects?

4. How will you ever improve and increase your effectiveness if you automatically blame others and find no room for self-improvement?

Condemning the lost sheep tends to convince leaders that they bear no responsibility for negative trends.

And slamming the sheep—even if some of the accusations are valid—accomplishes nothing. It only wastes time, drives the sheep further away and prevents the church from improving.

Please understand. I’m not suggesting we alter the message. I’m not suggesting that church outsiders (or insiders) are guiltless. I’m not denying that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

I’m simply suggesting we muster the humility to re-evaluate our methodology and old habits.

In our new book, Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore, we suggest some practical ways to pursue lost sheep: Radical Hospitality, Fearless Conversation, Genuine Humility and Divine Anticipation. Each of these solutions focuses on what any church can do, proactively, to follow Jesus’ examples of effective ministry.

When faced with growing numbers of people who reject the church, it’s easy to get frustrated. It’s tempting to bite back. But that won’t help.

What will help is this:

1. Don’t blame others.

Refrain from finding the speck in the other’s eye. Take responsibility for the work God has given you.

2. Curb the defensiveness.

Rather than bunkering in with the status quo, ask, “What can I learn? How can I improve?”

3. Lead with love.

As Jesus did.

We will never retrieve lost sheep by attacking them, calling them ugly names and blaming them for sagging ministry effectiveness.  

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Thom Schultz is an eclectic author and the founder of Group Publishing and Lifetree Café. Holy Soup offers innovative approaches to ministry, and challenges the status quo of today’s church.