No matter how impressive your church building is or how many programs you offer, you can't expect to attract a significant number of people in your community - lost souls who wouldn't dream of walking through church doors. Yet those same people have an innate desire to seek God, and many will respond if you stop expecting them to come to you and instead decide to go to them.

 

Once you plant seeds for God's kingdom, new churches can grow in even the most unlikely places, including restaurants, parks, offices, homes, university campuses, beaches, shopping centers, and locker rooms.

 

Here's how you can bring church to people who won't walk through a traditional church's doors:

  • Bring light to the darkness

Don't hide from the dark places in our fallen world; run toward them with Christ's light. Ask God to give you the courage to take His love and truth to people who are lost in sin. Remember that the power members of your congregation carry with them as Christians can overcome even the strongest darkness they encounter. Know that your greatest significance can be found in the darkness rather than in the light.

  • Simplify church

Nix the complications of big buildings, bureaucratic committees, elaborate programs, and other things that often distract institutionalized churches. Instead, focus on what really matters: making disciples. Realize that the Bible never commands people to build churches, but instead to disciple people. Understand that the church is much more than just a building - it's a living organism, not a static institution. Know that church shouldn't be bound to a single location; God's kingdom is decentralized.

Recognize that the church is much more than a brief worship service held one day a week. Understand that Christians are God's temples. Trust Him to empower you and those you pastor to spread His hope and glory to family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and even strangers. Free yourself from manmade hierarchical systems so you can spread the Gospel as freely as God leads you to do.

  • Seek out people who will be especially receptive to the Gospel.

Try to plant seeds of faith in good soil, with people who will be open to Christ's message. Recognize that people who are intellectual, moral, or wealthy have to get beyond their pride to see their need for the Gospel. But other groups of people will be more open to the Gospel message right away: those who are struggling with sin, the poor, young people, those searching for God through other religions, uneducated and powerless people, and those who suffer discrimination.

Seek out these people in creative ways, such as: by going on a ride-along with local police officers; attending local addiction recovery groups; or volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, homeless shelter, food bank, or other place that helps people in need.