10 Things The Church Can Do to Win Over Unbelievers

10 Things The Church Can Do to Win Over Unbelievers

10 Things The Church Can Do to Win Over Unbelievers

Over the last several decades, our nation and the world have seen almost shocking levels of chaos. There is persecution and injustice, starvation and devastation, and hopelessness. Never has the body of Christ been more important than in these days. The hope we have in Christ is the answer the world is looking for. But that means our churches have to be more strategic about how we reach those who are not yet believers.

Here are 10 things churches can do to win over unbelievers with the hope and love of Jesus Christ.

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1. Lose the judgmental attitude.

1. Lose the judgmental attitude.

Somewhere along the way, we seem to have forgotten where we came from. We weren’t born into the Kingdom of God. We had to make a choice to recognize our sin and need for a Savior, then ask Jesus into our heart. That day of acceptance is always a beautiful time of joy as we begin to fully recognize what Jesus has done for us. Sadly, some of us forget how wretched we truly are and become comfortable looking down at others that we deem less important, significant, or worthy. 

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." - Romans 2:1

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2. Open a single mom’s ministry.

2. Open a single mom’s ministry.

The single-parent household might be the fastest growing family arrangement in our country. Although the 2017 U.S. Current Population Survey reports that 69% of children live in two-parent households, the number of single parent-led homes has more than quadrupled since 1951. And around two out of three single mothers don’t attend a local church regularly, suggesting numbers upwards of 9 million unchurched single mothers, according to Maggio’s book, “The Church and the Single Mom.”

A single mom’s ministry gives these mothers a place to belong, network, and grow in Christ and further expands the opportunity to witness to the 17 million children they are raising in the United States today. 

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3. Create a welcoming environment with love, grace, and compassion.

3. Create a welcoming environment with love, grace, and compassion.

People appreciate authenticity. Your journey may look different than someone new to your church. Perhaps you don’t know what it’s like to be orphaned, recovering from addiction,  or battling through a terrible divorce. Maybe you’ve not experienced the immense financial, physical, and emotional challenges associated with a cancer treatment. You can still exhibit compassion and love towards others who are not quite like you. Treat others you the way you want them to treat you. 

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4. Remember we are not "holier-than-thou."

4. Remember we are not "holier-than-thou."

Our righteousness is as filthy rags unto the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). In other words, we could never do enough to earn salvation. It is only through Jesus that we are saved. We are not better than others. We are not more holy because we attend church more often than others. We are not more holy because we pray more eloquent prayers than others. We are not holy through anything we do.  When we understand how much we are in need of God’s daily grace, it allows us to treat others with kindness.

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5. Evaluate your ministry opportunities.

5. Evaluate your ministry opportunities.

Survey the location of your church. What is the community demographic? Are there lots of young people in your area? Is there a college campus nearby? If so, what does your college ministry look like? Is there a largely aging population? How do you care for seniors in the community? Look around and ask God what are the needs of the community around you. He placed you there for a purpose. 

"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:14-15

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6. Become service-minded.

6. Become service-minded.

Jesus washed the feet of the disciples as a beautiful, awe-inspiring example of pure servanthood. When we reach out to serve others who are not yet part of our congregation (and possibly not believers at all), we are showing them that they matter and are seen and loved by God. There are great servant-minded churches across the nation that are working to see that the needs of their community are met. What can your church do to serve and reach others?

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

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7. Be open to change.

7. Be open to change.

The gospel never changes. The Bible is the inerrant word of God.  Those things don’t ever change. The Good News is always the good news! But some earthly things change. We cannot get stuck in doing things the same way, just because we’ve “always done it this way.”  Just because women’s ministry has always met on Wednesdays nights at 7pm doesn’t mean it needs to continue. Be willing to evaluate programs and ministries and accept the creativity of others who may have God-led ideas.

"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some." 1 Corinthians 9:22

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8. Lose the competitive spirit.

8. Lose the competitive spirit.

There is no competition in the Kingdom. Celebrate the successes of the church across town. Celebrate the wins for the Kingdom. It is a huge turn-off for potential believers to see churches downgrading each other or becoming competative. 

Here are some of what the Bible has to say:

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others," Philippians 2:2-4

"But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic," James 3:14-15

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9. Recognize that relationship comes before ministry.

9. Recognize that relationship comes before ministry.

Sometimes, we are much more concerned with “fixing” everyone, beating them over the head with the Bible, and highlighting all the things they are doing wrong than we are showing people how loved they are by God. It is not our job as Christians to fix anyone. It is our job to point them to the One who can. Focus on establishing relationships in the community.

How can you begin establishing relationships? Invite a neighbor over for dinner. Have your kids play in the front yard so that you can wave to neighbors as they come home from work-- and maybe strike up a conversation. The point is, God is calling us to love those around us, and we cannot love who we do not know. So take some time to try and meet and talk with people in your community, and pray the Spirit would open your eyes to see opportunities to share the good news or invite them to church.

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10. Don’t expect anything in return.

10. Don’t expect anything in return.

Whether it is a service project you are doing in the community or a financial gift issued from a benevolence fund to assist a needy community member, release the need to have something in return. While it is a beautiful thing when someone we have served gives us a genuine, heartfelt, thank you, it is not necessary or required. Our service to others and our commitment to do for others is about what Christ has already done for us. Nothing more. 

Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and speaker who has a passion to see the body of Christ live life in total freedom. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries, reaching more than 71,000 single mothers annually. She has been featured in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Moody Radio, Dr. James Dobson Radio, Trinity Broadcasting Network, and others. For more information, visit http://www.jennifermaggio.com.

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