5 Ways to Reach People Who Couldn’t Care Less About Church

5 Ways to Reach People Who Couldn’t Care Less About Church March 28, 2017

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Apathy is the new hostility. Rather than picking a side in a religious debate, increasing numbers of people are choosing not to engage at all. For many, church is simply an irrelevant part of their lives. So how can a church begin to reach those people who are indifferent to church? Recently I wrote a post about the thing that keeps most non-religious people away from church. If your church truly wants to begin to reach those who couldn’t care less about church, here are five ways to start:

1). Focus on relationships – At the end of the day, relationships are your best surefire way to see new people come to church. Signage and advertising are inconsequential to those who couldn’t care less about church compared to a genuine, authentic relationship with someone from your church that invites them. As a pastor I’ve seen this over and over and over again.

2). Give relationships room to thrive through programming simplicity – This is where most churches kill their ability to cultivate genuine relationships with the outside world. If you over-program your people throughout the week and expect them to be at church multiple days per week, stacked on top of work and school and other extracurricular activities, then you’ve choked out any meaningful time church members have to develop relationships with those outside of church. If you want your church to develop relationships with those outside the church, then quit programming your people to be at church every free moment they have.

3). Needs-based teaching – You can walk through the same biblical text two different ways. If you preach in the book of Philippians, you could advertise it as “verse-by-verse through Philippians” or “How to Discover and Cultivate Lasting Joy” (since joy is such a heavy theme in Philippians). Which one would appeal to those outside (and even inside) the church? There is much hullabaloo about verse-by-verse being the only biblical way to teach, which is hogwash. If preaching verse-by-verse is the only way to preach biblically, then Jesus was a horrible preacher. All he did was preach topically. If someone doesn’t care about church, then they’re not going to care if your church preaches verse-by-verse. So find something they care about (a need), and use that as a bridge to connect them to biblical truth.

4). Create irresistible environments – If you want to create experiences that people are drawn to, then create environments that are irresistible. Too many churches assume that because it’s for God, we can give our second best. The opposite is true. Anything done in God’s name should be the absolute best quality, from the volunteers to the physical space to the programming itself. Make sure your kids environments are of the highest quality. Parents can put up with almost anything as long as their kids are having an enjoyable experience.

5). Tell better stories – One of the things that made Jesus such an incredible communicator was his ability to tell memorable stories. In every church there are hundreds of stories, stories of lives changed and transformed by the power of God. Spend more time learning those stories, capturing those stories, and broadcasting those stories. A good story transcends almost everything and will demand the attention of those even far from church. Make great video stories and then blast it through your social media platforms. Use stories to tell the world the amazing things that God is doing in your church.


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