Do you really want to reach the lost?

I read a very interesting post about reaching the unchurched last week. Gary Lamb, who pastors Revolution Church in Canton, Georgia shared his thoughts about doing church. So many churches say they want to reach the lost, but they don’t want the “messiness” that goes along with it.

It is so easy for a church to say one thing, but not back it up with their actions. In our area, it is easy for preachers to be “hard” on sin. They can preach hard against homosexuality and abortion and get plenty of amens. Why? Because most people aren’t being tempted by those sins. People feel good about themselves when they hear how bad everyone else is. But when you get people in your church that are really struggling with sin, the church typically turns their back on them. Why, because dealing with sin is messy. Breaking addiction takes hard work. Dealing with sexual sin is tough. Talking about pornography is uncomfortable. But if the church is really serious about reaching the lost, then you will have to help people deal with their sin. So, as a church, are we serious about reaching the lost? Do we back it up with our actions? Or do we just want to be cool and edgy and draw people from other churches? These are the questions that drive what we do. We must be strategic in how we reach out and engage our community. Check out a small quote from Gary’s post below:

We had a person on our staff a couple of years ago who came here because he wanted to be part of a church that reached unchurched people. The first time his wife sat next to a couple of lesbians, he was rethinking that. This guy was a nice guy, but he couldn’t handle the ugliness that comes with reaching those that are far from God. He literally walked around the church on Sundays with a look of terror in his eyes. He didn’t want to reach lost people, he wanted a church where he could come and wear whatever he wanted and impress other Christians because he was at an church with a little edge. It wasn’t long before he was running for the hills. He couldn’t handle the messiness of reaching those with problems. The sad thing is he isn’t alone. Most guys can’t handle it.


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    You might want to reconsider that line about not many people are tempted by sins like homosexuality and abortion. There are people in your church who have had both, and struggle mightily with the guilt from both. Remember, things are not as they seem. Ever.

  2. Mike says:

    You do have a good point. I’m sure there are people who have struggled with those sins in our church. But there are so many sins that typically are not discussed in church. And usually these are the sins that a high percentage of people are struggling with.

    It’s much easier to condemn a small number of people, so the majority will feel good about themselves. We should be helping everyone to overcome their sins, instead of making fun and condemning a few. Unfortunately, I have seen way too much of that in our area.

  3. Jenni says:

    I agree there are way too many preachers that single out a few sins and just preach on those instead of hitting things that might step on more toes (or even their own toes!)

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