The Other 60 Percent
Who are we reaching with the gospel of Jesus? At the recent “Genius of AND” conference, Alan Hirsch stated, “Many in our population are increasingly in isolation from us and we have to take the message to them.” Hirsch went on to describe how 40 percent of our churches are using an attractional model that reaches those within a cultural distance of our building. Additionally, after unbelievers are converted, they become socialized to look and act like us, which drastically reduces the influence they can have on unbelievers.
The problem is that at least 60 percent of the population ultimately gets ignored. Hirsch called for churches to be missional—to go to the world instead of waiting for them to come to us. He said, “We need to plant the Gospel and let church come out of that.”
Isn’t that what the Great Commission charges us to do? We need to “Go” to others, not simply sit back and hope we will attract others to Jesus. But, we have been doing this for so long that it will be difficult to change with the constantly shifting sands of the vast unchurched seashore.
Perhaps we need to reimagine the way we “do” church and the ways we make disciples. We can take a cue from Jesus and meet people where they are—in the streets, the pubs—anywhere that is typically “their” turf. Maybe it is time for us to view the church—not as a building to worship in—but as a group of disciples whom Jesus has called to go out to the world. This means getting out of our comfort zones to share the gospel. It requires us to be less concerned about our preferences and become more burdened for the souls of others.
What should going to others look like?
How will this alter our current church practices?