It’s a common misconception that the unchurched don’t care about church, but that’s not always true.
It is not that they are opposed to the idea of trying church. It’s that they haven’t been given a compelling reason to go.
In trying to reach them, it’s important to understand what they think about church.
The truth might surprise you. It may also make all the difference in helping them find a new church to explore their faith.
It Doesn’t Fit Their Beliefs
This might not be one of the most shocking truths about the unchurched – they don’t attend church because the church doesn’t fit their beliefs. Many of the unchurched consider themselves to be religious, but they may not agree with the views of the church.
There are numerous negative stereotypes that come with religion, such as protesting at soldiers’ funerals, that only represent a small portion of churches. However, these stereotypes are what stand out and make the unchurched believe that church isn’t for them.
They Don’t Need Church To Reach God
Over half of the unchurched consider themselves to be religious. So why don’t they attend church? Part of the reason for going to church is to build a relationship with God. However, many of the unchurched feel they already have a strong relationship with God. For them, they see the church as a waste of time since they already worship in their own way.
They may even discuss faith with friends and family. Or, they might view sermons online or interact with church websites. However, the idea of attending church on a regular basis doesn’t make sense when they already feel secure in their faith.
There Are Other Options
While some might consider Carey Nieuwhof’s post Why Attending Church No Longer Makes Sense controversial, it does explain what some of the unchurched think about church. In the past, there were very few alternatives to attending church. Today, there are services on at all hours on satellite and cable, streaming services, podcasts, on-demand sermons and much more.
The unchurched are attending church in different ways. They don’t always find traditional church convenient with their busy schedules. This doesn’t mean they’re not interested in what church has to offer. They just use alternative ways to experience it.
They’re Looking For A New Home
When you hear the term “unchurched,” you might assume you’re dealing with people who have never attended church or left their church and aren’t interested in coming back. While this is true of some, others aren’t opposed to attending church again. They might have left for a variety of reasons, such as getting a new job, going to school or difficulties at their previous church.
They don’t hate church. They’re just on the lookout for a new place to call home. If they had problems in the past, this may make their view of churches slightly negative. It takes time and patience for them to find a church that helps to change their mind.
They Don’t Like Organized Religion
Whether religious or not, 79% of unchurched Americans don’t mind having conversations about faith with their friends. They even enjoy the conversations and many aren’t opposed to at least trying out their friend’s church if they’re invited.
However, most of them just don’t feel that organized religion and the concept of a traditional church is right for them. It goes back to negative church stereotypes and not feeling like the church fits in with their beliefs. They don’t dislike Jesus, they just dislike what they believe church is. They often feel like church is too exclusive.
Instead of going to church, they quietly worship alone or have conversations with friends. They might even opt for alternative methods, such as viewing services online.
Are you looking for ways to help reach the unchurched? Start with an engaging church website that gives them alternative ways to worship.