The Two Things You HAVE to Do to Reach People

If you’re a church leader and you want your church to reach the unchurched, the de-churched, the disconnected, there are two things you HAVE to do.  These two ways of doing ministry CANNOT be compromised.  If you do just these two things, you will see an increased effectiveness in reaching people that will be visible to your entire congregation.

1.  YOU have to care about the unchurched yourself.  You have to be praying for people who don’t know Jesus.  You have to have relationships with people who don’t know Jesus.  You need to know your neighbors, you need to know people your kids are connected to.  If you want your church to reach out to people who are disconnected from Jesus, you have to care for people who are disconnected from Jesus.  Not because they will help your church be bigger, but because you so desperately want to see people experience life and eternity with God.

2.  You have to speak in a way that unchurched and de-churched people can understand.  There is so much here, but if you can just transition in this area, it will radically change your Sunday dynamic.  You CAN’T assume any Biblical understanding. The minute you start using “insider” language, it tells the “outsider” that this isn’t a place for them.  This is generally really difficult for people to change, because we don’t even realize we’re doing it.  What does it look like?  ”You all know the story of Jonah . . .”, “We’re in the book of Romans, so if you can open up to the 8th chapter” (is that in the bible?  I didn’t bring my Bible!  where is it?  I’m going to look stupid trying to find it.)

If you’re a pastor, you HAVE to be connected to people who are seeking, questioning, skeptical – it will radically TRANSFORM your preaching, if you will keep that person in mind as you prepare your message.  Will your message confuse them?  Will they understand that concept?  Is there something else I need to explain?  Do I need to help them understand who Romans was written to and why?  It takes extra work, but it lets the skeptical, the seeker, to know that they are welcome in your service.  You’re treating them with respect, and helping them navigate the Bible and their church experience.

If you can just begin to live out these two principles, it will radically change how you see ministry and your effectiveness in reaching people far from God.

This entry was posted in Church Planting, Guest Blogs on by .

About Paul Urban

Paul Urban is the co-Lead & founding Pastor of The Journey Church, in Muskegon, MI. The Journey is an eight year old church that reaches out to those disenfranchised with "religion". Over 65% of those at The Journey were not previously attending church. Paul and his wife Jennifer have been married for almost twenty years and have three boys: 15, 13, 10. He is on twitter as@PaulSUrban and blogs at

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