Reach neo-pagans. While neo-pagans correctly sense the sacredness of creation, they end up worshipping the creation rather than the Creator that it reflects. Neo-pagans tend to think that Christianity is boring compared to the excitement they find by invoking spiritual powers on their own, but they’re invoking powers that can unleash evil into their lives. You can reach neo-pagans best by living a Spirit-filled life for them to see how exciting it is to have the Holy Spirit guiding and empowering you. Be sure to pray regularly for neo-pagans, asking God to bind evil powers that may be influencing them.

Reach rebels. Rebels are people who leave Christianity because they find sinful pursuits more appealing than following the faith’s moral standards. They may still hold Christian beliefs, but not be willing to live a Christian lifestyle. When God reaches out loving hands toward them, they raise defiant fists toward Him. Rebels need a compelling cause to motivate them to grow spiritually, and they’re always looking for adventure. So help them discover God’s purposes for their lives during times when they’re spiritually receptive, such as when their sinful lifestyles lead them to a crisis. Help rebels see that a relationship with Jesus brings true freedom, since every person serves something in life, but those who serve Jesus have the power to overcome sin and find real fulfillment.

Reach drifters. The sinfulness of human nature in this fallen world gives all people the tendency to drift away from God if they don’t keep investing in their relationships with Him. But drifters have actually allowed themselves to drift so far away from Jesus that they no longer consider themselves Christians. Since drifters are easily influenced by their environment, invite them to church and other places where they can be around believers who are growing closer to Jesus. Stay in touch with them regularly and help them make other Christian friends so they’ll have the relationships they need with other believers to deepen their faith. Help drifters see the importance of truly committing themselves to Jesus and His Gospel message. Challenge them to move beyond seeing church as just a social club and discover how they can participate with others in church to actually change the world for the better.

Adapted from Generation Ex-Christian: Why Young Adults are Leaving the Faith… and How to Bring Them Back, copyright 2010 by Drew Dyck. Published by Moody Publishers, Chicago, Ill., www.moodypublishers.com.

Drew Dyck is editorial manager of the ministry team of Christianity Today International, where he overseas four online publications, including BuildingChurchLeaders.com. Drew holds an M.A. in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and previously served as editor of New Man magazine. He and his wife, Grace, live in Illinois.

Whitney Hopler is a full-time freelance writer and editor. You can visit her website at: http://whitneyhopler.naiwe.com/.

Publication date: May 18, 2011