I love to write. I write blogs. I write articles for several different websites. I write sermons. I write a newsletter for my employer. I write books. It is a hobby, and occasionally a way to supplement my ministry income. I have just finished writing a book entitled "Mission Possible: Reaching the Next Generation through the Small Church." The subject matter of the book is obvious from the title.
But this post is not to promote the book, it is to talk about an interesting discussion I have had with one of the people who worked on some of the promotional materials for the book. In many of the promotional items he kept inserting words and phrases that made it sound like I only wanted young adults who were already Christians to come to church. I kept making changes to his copy to make it clear that both Christian and non-Christian young adults should be welcome at church. He seemed to struggle with this idea. His main question was "Why would a church want to attract a large crowd of non-Christian young adults?" I had trouble getting the concept of the Great Commission or John 3:16 or evangelism or the need to rescue sinners from an eternity in hell across to him. I am not sure he ever really understood, but he did finally stop trying to word the material in a way that sounded like only Christians could participate in the life of the church.
My many emails and phone calls with him made me wonder how many Christians think the same way as my book promoter. Perhaps that is why evangelical churches across the nation are shrinking. Has the evangelical church become a social club where only certain people are welcome? Perhaps. But that is not the church that Jesus founded 2000 years ago. Jesus founded a church that said "Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavily burdened and I will give you rest." The church that Jesus founded believed that "Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." I like the church that Jesus founded. I am not so sure about the one my book promoter attends. This is something to think about as we ponder God's future for whatever church we are a part of.