We need to be us. They need to be them. When you realize it’s a complement, not a competition, everyone benefits.
7. God Has Become Generic
As the Barna Group’s research has shown, even though most Americans self-identify as Christian, almost 50 percent function as post-Christian in their practices and beliefs.
In other words, what people define as Christian and what constitutes genuine Christianity may be two different things.
Communicators and leaders, take note. It changes how we use the term ‘God.’
Trying to lead people into a relationship with God can mean almost anything to post-Christians, including their own definition of whatever spirituality might look like or feel like.
Leading them into a relationship with Jesus is very different.
In a post-Christian culture, God is generic. Jesus is specific, and personal.
8. People Don’t Know What They’re Converting To
It’s so easy to make assumptions that people who attend your church know what they’re stepping into. After all, don’t most people know what it means to be a Christian?
Well, no they don’t.
This problem has become so widespread in our post-Christian Canadian culture that I recently devoted an entire series (called Non-Committal) to explaining what people are converting to when they convert to Christianity.
Church leaders will have to become far more innovative in the language and metaphors we use to help people understand the basics of the Christian faith.
It’s very difficult to become a Christian if you don’t even understand what that means.
9. Background Understanding Is Often Zero
In the same way that people don’t understand what becoming a Christian means or why it matters, post-Christian people have very little Christian background from which to draw.
Again, that’s a communication challenge for church leaders.
Gone is the era where any preacher can say “As we all know…”
No, we don’t all know. We don’t know who Moses was, who David was, who Sarah was, or even really who Jesus was. But can you tell us? Can you explain it in a way we all understand?
The big surprise, of course, is that if you do this well, many Christians will thank you too. Because they didn’t really understand it either.