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9 signs your church is ready to reach unchurched people

Carey Nieuwhof writes:

Almost every church I know says they want to reach unchurched people.  But few are actually doing it.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that many churches don’t really understand unchurched people…

And part of the problem is that our model of church is designed to reach and helped churched people, not unchurched people. Churches haven’t embraced change deeply enough.

Here are 9 signs your church is ready to embrace unchurched people:

1. Your main services engage teenagers.

2. People who attend your church actually know unchurched people. 

3.  Your attenders are prepared to be non-judgmental. 

4. You’re good with questions. 

5. You’re honest about your struggles. 

6. You have easy, obvious, strategic and helpful steps for new people. 

7. You’ve dumped all assumptions. 

8. Your ‘outreach’ isn’t just a program. 

9. You are flexible and adaptable. 

These are just the points.  Carey lays each point out with some good explanation here.

I agree with Carey’s premise that most every church wants to reach the unchurched.

I also agree with him that most don’t do it (even though many trick themselves into THINKING they’re doing it).

How does YOUR church reach the unchurched?  What recommendations would you give to other churches.

In other words, “What’s working for YOU” in this area?



2 Responses to “ “9 signs your church is ready to reach unchurched people”

  1. Joel says:

    I think his best point was to “stop expecting unchurched people to know the basics of Christianity because how much do you really know about the basics of Hinduism…”

    That really clicked with me.

  2. Pete says:

    Honestly, I’ve decided to not “leave it to my church” to reach the unchurched. I work at a church as the director of worship (as well as preaching quite often). I love working in the church and serving the Body of Christ, but it doesn’t end there. Jesus didn’t call us to just make a cool relevant service and wait for the lost to show up, He calls us to go. And no, not to just go in order to invite others in, but to go and be light and salt out in the world around us.

    My wife and I go out regularly and have developed great friendships with artists, goths, steampunks… many of whom happen to be pagan, wiccan, athiest… I don’t leave it to my church to “attract” the unchurched and expect them to come in our doors and cross 2000 years of church history and tradition just to attend our service. We go out and build relationships, and live out our faith with honesty and integrity – being ourselves, offering to pray for someone when they need it, talking candidly about my life as a Christian. I don’t sit and wait in the conversation for a chance to jump in with the “Jesus” card like some salesman waiting to give their pitch. Jesus said we are the light of the world – you don’t hear light, you see it. So we shine the light of Christ in our daily lives, not just in the church doors but in the goth clubs and Irish pubs, living rooms and coffee shops…

    Our congregation has been focusing for a while on what it means to be missional as believers and I hope that most of our congregation would fit many of the criteria listed above. Thankfully it has been a good experience for those of our unchurched friends who have attended.
    But our faith should be so much more than just an hour on Sunday, and my heart is to shine the light of Christ outside these doors every day…

    (my apologies for the long-winded response)

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