Open Doors And Unwise Statements
I have heard it said so many times, heck, I used to say it a lot; in fact, just about every church planter MUST include it in their lingo to sound legit—what is it? It’s the phrase, “We’re not going to be a church for those who are already in church—we want the unchurched coming here, that’s it.”
Doesn’t that sound good? I think it is a nice statement…and in most cases I think the people who say it are sincere (because most who say it have been burned by the churched!) But since being at NewSpring for over seven years now I am beginning to discover the immaturity in saying that we are a church for only a certain demographic of people…and here is why…
I believe that the “churched” in America is quite possibly the largest group of people who need to hear and respond to the Gospel. AND if it was not for churches who begin with the goal of lifting up Jesus then there could be a group of people who are around religion all their lives…but never meet Jesus.
Just a few weeks ago a lady accepted Christ in our church and said, “I’ve been in church all my life but here at NewSpring is the first time I have ever heard anyone talk about salvation or a need for Jesus.”
Just this past Sunday we baptized four people on stage—two of them were from churched backgrounds and had were “good” people who were actively volunteering every single week here…but the message on Matthew 7:21-23 hit them in the gut…and through it the Holy Spirit revealed that they didn’t have a relationship with Jesus.
It ticks me off—BUT—the fact is that there are thousands of churches that are not teaching about sin, about how sin separates us from God, about how Jesus made payment for that sin on the cross and about how, by receiving Christ, He comes to live inside of us to give us an abundant and eternal life.
AND…coincidently, you can do a study on the denominations that have gotten away from God’s Word and teaching that Jesus is the only way to God…and their numbers are declining rapidly. Here’s my question—where do the people, the CHURCHED PEOPLE, who leave these places go?
God help them that they do not meet some arrogant church planter who is trying to impress his buddies by claiming, “I run all the churched people off when they show up.” CAREFUL…you could be running off those who need Jesus the most!
We have an open door policy at NewSpring Church—whoever wants to walk in our doors are welcomed—period! We do not have a team who stands outside and tries to identify who might be “steeple people,” that’s not our job!
Here at NewSpring we don’t have a “target group.” We don’t have a carefully developed plan on how to reach a certain demographic of our community. NOR is it our goal to compete with other churches—the Bible is pretty clear in Ephesians 6:12 as to who our fight is against. And it is our prayer and passion to lift up Jesus, see people respond to Him and kick the enemy in the teeth as often as possible!
NOW…I will say that the “religious” who come to NewSpring usually do not make it very long…but that is another post for another time.