A Word from Your Rev. Kenneth J. Fizer, Jr.
Due to Covid-19, currently we are limited in our ability to reach out to the unchurched. However, once things get back to normal, I would like to hit the ground running. There are things we can focus on now that will help us to be more effective when we are able to re-enter. I have put together nine practices that will increase our effectiveness in reaching the unchurched. These nine practices for church growth are:
- Major on Majors
Church members must keep the main thing the main thing. Some members demand their brand of music. Others get irritated when the order of worship is changed. Others fuss when the same sermon goes too long. Some members seem to worship their building, and in the meantime, tens of thousands have not heard the Gospel and so few church members seem to care.
Healthy churches tend to major on majors. Other issues are treated, as they should be, as minor. Churches that reach the unchurched keep their priorities in order and their goals in clear view.
- Be Biblical and Convictional
Churches that reach the unchurched have a high view of Scripture. And their convictions about their beliefs are obvious.
A church can attempt many good contextual efforts to reach the unchurched, but if it does not have a high view of Scripture, the efforts are either futile or transient.
- Give Evangelism Priority and Passion
What do vibrant churches all have in common? They all make evangelism a priority. They may have theological differences. Their worship styles range from traditional to blended to contemporary. Their common bond, however, is a passion for evangelism.
- Provide Biblical Teaching in Small Groups
Churches that reach the unchurch provide many options for Biblical teaching, the unchurched are attracted to small groups because they desire Biblical teaching and training, and they seek to develop relationships with other Christians. Small groups dramatically impact the effectiveness of a church’s assimilation and provide a solid foundation of the Christian faith.
- Check Your Facilities
Realize that one of the most critical areas for cleanliness, attractiveness, and modern equipment is the Nursery and Sunday School. Unchurched people say that the quality of the Sunday School class rooms was one of the key issues that attracted them to a church. Also, signage is important to the un-churched as well. The unchurched are often terrified to come to a strange church and attractive directional signs help visitors navigate.
Visitors are completely turned off by unkempt facilities, dirty restrooms, and ill-equipped Sunday School classrooms.
- Keep the Friendliness Issue Before the Church
Every church thinks it is friendly. These false perceptions are based on how members treat each other in the church. They do not see themselves from the perspective of an outsider. They do not realize that, while they speak to people they know and people they see each week, the outsider has no such connections. They need to be reminded each week to be friendly.
- Greeters should be clearly identifiable with badges, or some other type of clear marking.
- Provide a welcome center with good and updated information on the church.
- Provide New Members’ Class
The formerly unchurched for the most part will gladly attend a new members class prior to membership. We need to remember that an unchurched person who visits our church typically wants to learn more.
- Expect Much/Receive Much
Churches that reach the unchurched are high-expectation churches. Their members are excited Christians. They belong to an organization that makes a difference. They gladly share their faith, invite friends and family members to church, and generally express excitement about their church. Leaders of these churches do not hesitate to ask members to get involved in ministry. They constantly urge them to develop their own spiritual gifts and talents. New Christians are eager to get involved, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Unfortunately, some churches do a fair job of reaching the unchurched only to see them leave within a few months because they have rigid and antiquated rules that prohibit ministry involvement of new members.
- Never Forget the Power of Prayer
Evangelizing the unchurched is spiritual warfare. Satan will do anything he can to hinder some-one from becoming a believer. Only prayer can effectively break the bonds of complacency and nit-picking that keep a church’s focus off evangelism.
In Christ’s Service,