Why Would Anybody Come to Your Church?

Much has been made in the last decade or so of the supposed “feminization of the church” — the concern that evangelical churches no longer appeal to men. (See this article, this book and this article for sample contributions to the discussion, although a new poll by George Barna indicates that now women are falling away from the church.)

I’m not going to argue who’s right; rather, I want to look at the underlying question: Why should [insert any classification of people group] come to your church?

The first question in response to the feminization concern was, “Why would men come to your church?” To that question I’d like to add:

  • Why would women come to your church?
  • Why would ethnic minorities come to your church?
  • Why would internationals come to your church?
  • Why would families come to your church?
  • Why would senior citizens come to your church?
  • Why would teenagers come to your church?
  • Why would non-Christians come to your church?
  • Why would new Christians come to your church?
  • Why would mature Christians come to your church?
  • Why would business people come to your church?
  • Why would blue-collar workers come to your church?
  • Why would poor people come to your church?
  • Why would people with mental or physical disabilities come to your church?
  • Why would leaders come to your church?

I don’t mean these as rhetorical, theoretical or philosophical questions, as in, “Why should the universal or local church be welcoming to women/minorities/families/non-Christians/etc.?” No, I want you to look at your church through the eyes of the groups mentioned above. Why in the world would they want to be a part of your church? Do you give them any reason to feel welcomed and included, not just on Sunday morning but as a valued, contributing part of the community?

Ask yourself an even more honest question: Do you truly want them to come to your church, to really be a part of it to the point where your current comforts, assumptions, beliefs and methods are challenged?

If no, I’m truly sorry, for I believe you are denying yourself opportunities for personal growth and for corporate experience of the fullness of the Kingdom.

If yes, what are you going to do about it this week?

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One thought on “Why Would Anybody Come to Your Church?

  1. George Cladis says:

    I recently consulted with a church that wanted to achieve the kind of racial, ethnic and social diversity as in our urban Worcester Liberty campus. They work in local urban missions that are highly diverse but their church attendance remains predominantly highly educated Anglo. I asked, "what are your main concerns in worship right now?" Response: "We have some of our pillar members upset because some attend worship with a coffee cup in hand and others in blue jeans." My comment: "You won't be able to draw those different from you until you're ready to accept those differences and model them in leadership." There was silence. Somehow we think we are welcoming because we say, "All are welcome" from the pulpit but say "Don't come here unless you look and talk like us" with the rest of our church culture.

  2. George Cladis says:

    I recently consulted with a church that wanted to achieve the kind of racial, ethnic and social diversity as in our urban Worcester Liberty campus. They work in local urban missions that are highly diverse but their church attendance remains predominantly highly educated Anglo. I asked, “what are your main concerns in worship right now?” Response: “We have some of our pillar members upset because some attend worship with a coffee cup in hand and others in blue jeans.” My comment: “You won’t be able to draw those different from you until you’re ready to accept those differences and model them in leadership.” There was silence. Somehow we think we are welcoming because we say, “All are welcome” from the pulpit but say “Don’t come here unless you look and talk like us” with the rest of our church culture.

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