Don’t miss two critically important news stories released yesterday by Baptist Press -- Unchurched Less Likely to Come to Church @ http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=27891 and SBC Baptisms: Lowest Since ’87 @ http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=27890.
I would also encourage you to read Ed Stetzer’s commentary about these -- New Evangelism Research @ http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2008/04/new_evangelism_research.html and Breaking News @ http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/2008/04/the_end_of_the_beginning_1.html
For me, here are some key take-aways from these recent news releases:
- Unchurched people don’t actively seek a church, churched people do.
- If churches focus primarily on reaching guests they are focusing on the wrong crowd.
- Unchurched people aren’t asking the same questions or looking for truth in the same places as churched people do.
- Churches are using the wrong “yardsticks” to measure their success.
- Churched people are too busy “doing” church rather than “being” the church.
- Churches must create effective internet sites and other “user friendly” tools as “front doors” for unchurched people.
I actually was commenting about this in my blog post for March 26, A Look At The Church In America @http://patford.blogspot.com/2008/03/look-at-church-in-america.html when I said “evangelism should become characterized as off-campus, missional, going, relational, informal, spontaneous vs. on-campus, institutional, coming, presentational, formal, organized”.
Regardless of our perspectives on various denominational positions or personalities, this recent news should cause us to pause and personally reassess the question … as for me and my church, is our evangelism "ladder" against the wrong wall?
Until next time…share the journey and enjoy the ride!