Is your church focused on the already persuaded or on the pursuant? When churches become comfortable, they plan and program for the already persuaded, those who are already members of the church. We give names and descriptives to appear we are outward focused, yet with little reaching out to those pursuant to a relationship with God.
Many of these churches claim loudly that they are God’s New Testament church, yet their baptistries are filling only with dust. Things may appear stable when they are likely shrinking little by little each year. Perhaps stable in appearance, yet spiritually stagnant.
The New Testament church as we read about it in the book of Acts says God was “adding to their number daily those who were being saved.” If God added only one person per day for the next year to your congregation, how many more would you have? It is not a trick question, 365. That is four times the attendance most of our churches see on any given Sunday. This is something to get excited about. Do we even believe God can do this today?
When your church is focused on the already persuaded instead of those pursuant of a relationship with God, you are likely not seeing people come to faith in Christ, baptisms are not happening, and church life is more routine than God experiences. When this is happening in a church, the church has lost focus on those who are far from God.
Research has stated that when a person has been a member of a church for seven years it is likely they have no genuine relationships with lost people outside the realm of the church. Yes, we are to grow together in Christ, we are to have relationships in the church to encourage and to build one another up. Yet, the commission we have, The Great Commission, tells us to go “Go”, into a lost world, a world that does not know God.
Ask yourself and your church members these questions.
- How many conversations have you had this week with the intent to share about Christ?
- When was the last time you spoke about your faith story to someone other than a church member?
- Who are you building a relationship with so that you can gain their trust to share the gospel with?
- What are the names of the people far from God whom you prayed for today?
When your church begins praying and asking themselves this type of questions, God will change the church focus and bring lasting fruit in and through your church.