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Plain and Simple for Aug. 1, 2013
SoVaNow.com / July 29, 2013One of the more interesting statistics related to evangelism concerns new members in your church.
If you really want to grow your church, you should make an effort to add unchurched people to your membership rolls. In other words, instead of continually gathering up members who have left Church A or Church B to come to your church for a while, you should try to get people who truly have no church affiliation.
Why is this more effective in an evangelistic sense? Not only do people who are unchurched tend to come into the church with a tad more enthusiasm once they make that commitment, but they also bring something to the table something that transfer members do not—friends who are not Christians.
It has been shown repeatedly that people who have been in the church the longest often do not have any unchurched friends. Thus, the call from the pulpit to ask their friends to church falls on deaf ears. A new member who was truly unchurched brings a wealth of unchurched friends.
Of course, this takes a somewhat cynical view of evangelism. It makes it sound as if you are mapping out a sales territory that has the best potential. But, in reality, is that so bad? If you are marketing the best product in the universe and all eternity, is it so bad to make an effort to find the best place to market it?
On the other hand, we can do something about this problem if we do not want to take advantage of our unchurched converts and their network of friends. We can actually make an effort to get to know a larger cross-section of non-Christians. I hesitate to point out that Jesus was roundly criticized for the company that he kept. It seems fairly obvious that he went where his message was most needed.
There are many side benefits to going out among the unsaved. We get to know them as real people. I do not think that we would be so quick to condemn them to the garbage heap of our cast-offs if we actually took the trouble to get to know them.
I have worked at hospitals, mental hospitals, juvenile detention homes, and even as a janitor. I have seen people at their rascally worse.
At the same time, I have never yet failed to find integrity, honesty and pure nobility of spirit wherever I have gone and among whatever people I have mingled with.
Perhaps that is why Jesus died for all people.
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