Monday, April 17, 2006


As a leader, one of the questions you have to answer is “Who are we trying to reach?” You can't be all things to all people.

If you plot on an X/Y graph the following extremes: saved/unsaved, and churched/unchurched, you end up with four possible quadrants that you can try to reach:

1. The saved/churched
2. The unsaved/churched
3. The saved/unchurched
4. The unsaved/unchurched

At CTK, we have eliminated quadrants 1. and 2. from consideration by saying that we want to "create an authentic Christian community that effectively reaches out to unchurched people love with acceptance and forgiveness so that they may experience the joy of salvation and a purposeful life of discipleship." Our mission is not to draw people from other churches. Our mission is to reach out to unchurched people, particularly those who are unsaved.

When you decide who you are going to reach, you automatically choose who you are going to be hostile to - the quadrant and hemisphere that is opposite your choice. If you reach out to unchurched/unsaved people, you will no doubt produce an environment that is at points antagonistic to those who are saved and churched. I have found that the more that CTK creates an environment that is friendly and welcoming to the unchurched, the less inviting we look to “pre-processed Christians” who are “looking for a new church” (unless, of course, they have the “arrows pointed out”).

Conversely, if our goal were to make CTK extremely comfortable for those who are churched (those who already have their ticket punched), we would unwittingly create an environment that is hostile to the unsaved. In fact, this is what has already happened to the majority of 400,000 churches across the country.

Jesus also made choices. He came to reach out to the lost. Consequently, he was not favored by the establishment. The religious leaders (roughly analogous to the saved/churched of our day) took a dim view of his concerns for pagans, sinners and the lost. Even Jesus could not simultaneously meet the needs of the lost, and the establishment. In the process of reaching out the one, he “ticked off” the other.

The establishment still takes a dim view of pastors and churches who befriend pagans, sinners, and lost people. Establishment Christians want their pastors to care for and fraternize with “church people.” They want a chaplain, not a captain. Sadly, they are not asking what they can do for Christ’s church, they are asking what Christ’s church can do for them. I have found it is difficult to placate the establishment while at the same time aggressively reaching out to unchurched people in love, acceptance and forgiveness. My advice to you: “Don’t burn up too much energy trying to please both worlds.” Keep the arrows pointed out and ask others to join you in reaching out to unchurched people.

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