I had a great lunch with a local pastor here in Greenville, SC yesterday. While our discussion touched on many subjects, the one that I continued to think about was that of understanding the local culture as it pertains to people and their relation to church. Here’s my list:
Un-churched – Those who have never been involved with a church except for the odd wedding or funeral. These folks are often very opinionated about church and why they want nothing to do with it. More often these days, the un-churched are showing an interest in spiritual things, just not in church.
De-churched – Those who grew up in church or spent a good amount of time in church but have fallen away for any number of reasons; they walk away mad at people or mad at God. It can be difficult to get De-churched people to talk about why they want nothing to do with church.
Over-churched – Those who have grown up in church, spend every waking moment in church, never have any intention of being away from church… although they usually have an active pen-and-comment-card-ministry. Sadly, this type is often more concerned with having their own needs met and and socializing at church than doing anything outside of the church.
Churched (sorry, can’t seem to come up with another term) – Those who have come to know the truth of Jesus Christ. There is a glint in their eyes that shows you that these people have bought into the power of the gospel and are now on mission for personal growth, service, and reaching out to others with the truth.
I still believe that the church is God’s hands and feet here on earth. Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against his church (Matthew 16:18). If the modern church has any chance of reaching those in our own community, it is critical that we know where the people around us are coming from.
Did I overlook anyone? Who is your church reaching out to, or needing to reach out to?