It’s a popular church planting philosophy these days that we are only to “target” the un-churched and in it’s most basic form I understand the basis for this philosophy (Matt. 28:16-20) For too long people jumped from one church to the next looking for the perfect fit and surprisingly enough, never found it. What we ended up with was a bunch of churches that catered to a bunch of Christians. Rather than becoming the missional church Jesus called us to be, a church that is outwardly focused, we stayed in our buildings and did things other church people liked. As a result we failed to connect with those who had yet to make a commitment to follow Christ and that’s probably why fewer people than ever now claim to attend church.
We now have a move of church planters, most of them younger like myself, who are attempting to reinvent the way we do church. At the heart of this reinvention is the desire to be missional, get outside the four walls and reach a culture who has likely heard the gospel but has yet to truly see it.
So here’s my question: what about the other church people? The other church people who have been bogged down by the routine & religion of church? The other church people who want to reach out to their community through their local community of faith but were never given the opportunity? The other church people who want a safe, accepting place to bring their un-churched friends but have yet to find it? What happens to these people?
I have come to realize that many of these “other church people” exist all over our city and likely in yours too. May I suggest that many of us, as planters, pastors, leaders, and church goers, need to open our doors to those “other church people” who for so long, have been looking for a place to connect, grow and serve. It should never be our goal to steal people from other churches but it should be our goal to connect with anyone who understands and serves the missional vision of our churches in a genuine & authentic way.