In the 80s the term "unchurched" was coined. This word was used an inevitably replaced non-christian. Satan has a clever way of using just a simple word change to seem more politically correct and palatable to hinder the work of Christ.
You may not think this word change sounds so bad but it essentially changed the game plan. We, as Christ-followers, used to "spread the gospel" in the beginning of The Church. Then some how this moved to a more self-righteous movement where we're doing crazy things like pilgrims trying to "convert" the Indians. Along with that came the "right way" to dress, behave, interact, and basically live. That moved to the phrase "evangelizing non-Christians" which then became "reaching the unchurched". Yep. That's exactly what it sounds like. To quote an article for Christianity Today entitled Who are the De-Churched,
The church was no longer just a means by which Christ’s mission would advance in the world, it was also the end of that mission. The goal wasn’t simply to introduce the unchurched to Christ, but—as the term reveals—to engage them in a relationship with the institutional church. This paved the way for the ubiquitous (but flawed) belief today that “mission” is synonymous with “church growth.”
Church-goers are now trying to grow their club rather than simply love on people and be prepared to share the reason for the hope they have.
In that same article they've broken the de-churched into these 3 generalized groups:
1. The Relationally De-Churched: those who abandon the institutional church because they desire authenticity.
2. The Missionally De-Churched: those who leave because they are die-hard activists.
3. The Transformationally De-Churched: those who left because people in the church have the tendency to be small and mean and couldn’t deal honestly with their own sins or the sin of others.
Where do you fit in today?
- Are you apart of the club? Have you made it through rush and now you know the ins and outs of how things are to be run?
- Have you gone to the club week-in and week-out not really knowing why you do certain things but enjoying having something to do or a group to call your own?
- Are you begrudgingly attending a club but long for something more and just don't know what that is? Do something about it! Be the change you're looking for. Love. Love right where your are!
- Are you one of the de-churched for one of the reasons listed above? There are tons like you! Ones who want to make a difference. Ones who are tired of the once meaningful traditions. Those ready to engage in the culture now.
- Are you a person wandering this earth waiting to find out why we're all here? You've never stepped foot inside a church building and have never been given a good reason to do so. No one's told you about the God who created you and loves you and longs to be reunited with His child. You've possibly lived in the US all your life, and people assume everyone in this "Christian Country" knows all the stories of the Bible, but you along with tons of others have no idea what they're talking about in literature class.
We're coming! I promise! There are Christ-followers who are on their way. They want to share life with you. Love on you right where you are! We want to share Christ; not bottle Him up for ourselves and those we deem worthy. We Are Coming for You!