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Andy Stanley Is Right About Reaching the Post Christian Culture

And indifference is a much harder issue to deal with. Hostility means the person angry with you is still engaged. Indifference means you’ve lost them…at least for now.

Indifference is a very different opponent than disagreement or hostility.

Maybe it’s rooted in the fact that the church has largely stopped caring about the world.

And when the church no longer cares about the world, it should be no surprise that the world no longer cares about the church.

3. PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR LOVE…NOT JUDGMENT

A lot of Christians are upset with the cultural changes that have happened in the last decade. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be alarmed.

But it seems like our response to the culture is to judge it.

I think that’s God’s job.

If God so loved the world, who gave Christians permission to hate it?

When someone attends your church (and mine), they’re hoping to find Jesus. And underneath it all, they’re hoping to find love.

Too often, they tell us, they find:

It’s heartbreaking.

Andy’s argument about love is compelling because it really is the heart of our faith. In fact, I seem to recall both Jesus and the Apostle Paul saying that without it we don’t have anything.

And it creates this tragic irony: The love that is so palpably absent from so many churches is the very thing the world is searching for.

Before you get defensive, ask yourself this question: When was the last time you stood in line hoping someone would judge you?

Exactly.

Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy.

4. THE CHURCH INCREASINGLY FEELS LIKE A CLUB TO WHICH NO ONE IS INVITED.

As the culture becomes more and more post-Christian, a growing number of people aren’t sure how to even engage church.

The sign on the lawn might say “All Welcome,” but that doesn’t really register.

Think about it: If you’re a practicing Christian, how comfortable would you be randomly walking into a mosque next weekend, or a synagogue, or a Buddhist Temple?

Right.

First, you’d think you need an invitation to go…that new people aren’t welcome.

Second, you’re not even sure when they meet, how to dress, what the customs are, what to do, where to go. The list is endless.

So it’s really no mystery as to why truly post-modern, post-Christian people aren’t flocking to most churches.

As someone who lives in a country (Canada) that is 20-30 years more post-Christian than America, I can assure you that, to outsiders, churches seem more and more like private clubs to which no one is invited.

The bridge, of course, is a personal invitation.

And that invitation is only likely going to be effective if the person you’re inviting likes you and loves you.

And that brings us back the previous point. It’s really hard for non-Christians to believe you love them if you behave like you don’t like them.

5. TOO MANY OF US ARE ANSWERING QUESTIONS NO ONE IS ASKING.

Too many preachers are answering questions no one is really asking anymore.

For example, many times in messages I’ve outlined the manuscript evidence that shows the scriptures we have today are in fact, with only tiny, minor variations, the scriptures that were written long ago. In other words, we’re quite certain that the version of the first letter of Paul to the church in Corinth that we have is what Paul actually wrote.

That’s important to know (and important to me) for many reasons. And a generation ago that would be enough to convince people to lean in a little harder.

Today, though, a growing number of post-Christians would say, “I don’t care whether what you’re reading was the original letter from Paul himself. So what?”

That’s an entirely different line of questioning.

So many preachers are still covering the what of Christianity (which is important), but ignoring the so what.

In every area of our communication, we should be drilling down the core issues.

If you fail to answer the ‘so what,’ you fail to answer life’s deepest questions.

 

This article about reaching the post Christian culture originally appeared here.
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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.