A recent study of unchurched Americans by LifeWay Research and the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism in Wheaton, Ill., found that 79 percent of the unchurched don’t mind if Christian friends talk about their faith if it’s something they genuinely value.
Luther Stanford, lead pastor of City Church at Northside in Panama City, said that number is “dead on the money” in his ministry context.
He said the “plastic” evangelism presentations we used to teach turned off people both inside and outside the church.
“It didn’t sound like the story of Christ and redemption to me,” he said. “It felt more like the Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner salesman.”
Stanford thinks Christians should let Gospel conversations flow organically and stop trying to force opportunities.
“We shouldn’t feel pressure to go where God is not leading,” he said. “The Spirit of God will do more and say more in a conversation than we will.”
Want to know more?
I am taking a deep dive into the topic of the unchurched and our misunderstandings of who they are and how to reach them for the cover story of our February print edition.
Nicole Kalil is a Jacksonville-based reporter for the Florida Baptist Witness. She can be reached at Nicole.Kalil@gofbw.com