If you want to reach the post Christian culture, post-modern people—in other words, the next generation—how do you do it, effectively? Although you might not know it if you just perused social media, the majority of churches are plateaued or dying. And even among growing churches, not all growth is coming from people with no church background.
Some—not all, but some—growing churches are just consolidating the Christians who are still around and giving them a new place to gather.
If you really analyzed what percentage of churches are truly attracting post-modern, post-Christian people, you might be a little surprised at how low that number is.
Three typical responses to this problem include taking pot-shots at growing churches, criticizing church leaders and lamenting about how bad current culture is. But none of these responses is in any way productive.
So, instead, what if we focused on the real issue, namely, figuring out what it takes to reach people who don’t know Jesus?
That’s why I’m so grateful for Andy Stanley’s recent contributions to the conversation.
Andy Stanley’s new book, Irresistible: Reclaiming the New That Jesus Unleashed on the World, does a deep dive into exploring the kind of message Christians need to focus on to connect with unchurched and de-churched people.
You can listen to an interview I did with Andy on his new approach to apologetics here.
Whether or not you agree with everything Andy Stanley says in the book (Andy’s had a few critics as he’s made his arguments), what the critics seem to miss is that the current generation of church leaders is losing the conversation with non-Christians. In fact, often, we’re not even in the conversation anymore.
That’s why what Andy has to say is so valuable. We need to change the conversation because the current conversation is making less of a difference every day.
Something fundamental is changing in our culture, and many Christian leaders are missing it.
Arguing among ourselves or rehashing apologetic approaches from generations ago isn’t going to reverse the growing indifference Christians face when we share our faith.
Radically different times demand radically different approaches. The apostle Paul varied his approach depending on his audience. Speaking to Greeks in Athens required a different line of argument than speaking with Jews.