As pastors, we often get to hear people’s faith and lack of faith stories and their church and why-they-don’t-go-to-church-stories. Over my 13 years of leading The Orchard and walking with notorious sinners and other scum, I have come to the conclusion that there are five kinds of churches and I am beginning to think five kinds of Christians as they relate to outsiders.
“What is best for The Kingdom will always be what is best for your church, but the equation doesn’t work the other way” is a sentence that gets repeated daily with the people and in the place I serve. This is not some new revelation, but it is one that often gets lost in the everyday work of pastoring.
One of the crucial marketing decisions we made during our church launch phase has been one of the most important we have ever made and it still governs our marketing philosophy today. Instead of a more traditional approach that focused on our name, location or vision, we decided to market our relationships.
One of the principal motivations for planting new churches is to reach people no one else is reaching. In my opinion, that is the only reason to plant new churches. Admittedly, people who love unchurched people will want to join a church planter in the adventure, but beware of church people because they will derail your church plant.
One of the problems Christians have in reaching people who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus is that after having been a Christian for a while they don’t know anyone who is not a Christian. The church that would reach the unchurched must ask itself—“Do we know any unchurched people and how are we focused on them?”