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Reaching Secular People!

Secular people do not know what Christians are talking about.
They do not have a Christian background or a Christian vocabulary.
Most terms are precious to us, who are Christians, but they have no meaning to the secular person.

About two-thirds of America's 120 million secular people are not church-going people.
When they do come to church, they do not know what to do.
Their occasional visits to church are clumsy.

Most secular people have had some superficial exposure to church.
Too often, it is a negative exposure that they remember.
They might have thought that church was boring and irrelevant.
They might have thought that the preacher shouted, and it wasn't their kind of music.

In spite of what many may think, America is not an over-churched nation.
The fact is we are more under-churched than we have ever been in ratio to the population.
This data is not precise, but in the year 1900 we had 27 churches for every 10,000 persons.
In 1950 we had 17 churches for every 10,000 persons.
Today we have only 11 churches for every 10,000 persons.

Most pastors are aware that if every church in their city was filled on Sunday, only 35 to 38 percent
of the city's population would find a place to sit.
So, it is not factual to assume that we have too many churches.
We need new churches!

Secularization is that process in Western history in which the church's influence has been removed.
Secularization is especially predominant in our cities.

Most churches still function as though Christendom is still intact.
Most pastors and most churches still function as though ministry takes place primarily inside
the church building rather than outside in the world.

They also function as though ministry is something the pastor does.
And most church's ministry is mainly targeted to Christians, not unsaved people.

We must pattern ourselves after the apostles in the New Testament.
Their ministry took place primarily in the world not in the church building.
Their ministry involved lay people, and they targeted non-Christians, more so than Christians.

Our churches must again understand that our primary calling is to be missionary congregations
in a pagan, secular mission field.

So, we must find creative ways to implement the great commission.

Someone has said that until churches have decided they mean business, they resemble a buggy whip company
trying to sell buggy whips to people in our day of modern technology.

When we proclaim the gospel of Jesus, we are proclaiming a different world view than that held
by secular people.
Their view is marked by individualism and self-reliance.
The secular person has a strong mindset that is contrary to the gospel of grace in Christ.

To reach secular people calls for total commitment.
We must live by God's agenda, and not by our own.

Most secular people believe in God.
But when they talk about God, they're not talking about the God revealed in the Bible.
Most secular people function as deists.
They believe in God, who got things started, but then He removed Himself and is not involved
in the lives of people.
They believe that God has left the rest up to us, so that, if chaos reigns, that's the way it is.

Most secular people assume -- if there is a God, He doesn't care about me.

The sad thing about all of this is that the difference among church people and secular people
is only a difference in degrees.
Many church people function as deists, also.
They have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but they do not live as though
He is Lord of their lives.
They prefer to live by their own agendas, not God's.
To them seeking the will of God for their lives is a foreign suggestion.

During the first three centuries of Christianity, the early apostles had several communication objectives
as they sought to lead people to become followers of Jesus Christ.
They faced the task of informing people of basic Christian truths.
They also had to influence people not to bow to Caesar but to God.
They had to engage attitudinal changes in people regarding Christianity.

Once people had a positive attitude and were informed about basic Christianity, then they could be
invited to become Christians.

This is the same task our churches face today.

We must inform people of the basics of the Christian faith and engage them in some attitude changes
before we can invite them to follow Christ.