Kelley Hartnett says those folks who don’t attend church aren’t interested in attending any church.
So I’m just going to come right out and say it: It’s more than likely the people in your community who aren’t “attending church” have no interest in attending yours.
It doesn’t matter how kickin’ your band is. It doesn’t matter how fantabulous your children’s ministry is, how spiffy your super-friendly guest services team looks in their new polo shirts or how relevant the teaching is—even if it’s delivered by an incredibly hip dude with a Mumford-esque beard, black-framed glasses and Toms. It doesn’t even matter how consistently you adhere to your brand standards. (I know! Gasp!)
It’s not you, though.
The truth is those folks who don’t attend church aren’t interested in attending any church.
But it’s not them either.
It’s us—the Church.
This isn’t news to you though, right? I mean, maybe it’s news that your community’s disinterest in church extends even to your church. If that’s the case, I love you guys and I’m sorry for just sort of dumping that on you. But I also encourage you to set aside your, “Yeah but we…” and your “Except we’re the best at…” and realize this: For more than 60% of people—and that number is growing—the Sunday morning worship gathering is no longer the primary on-ramp to a life of faith. (Is that number a universal stat? No. But if you follow the link and read the details, it’s an accepted reality among the experts.)
Simply put: People don’t see church attendance making any difference in the lives of most—or any—Christians they know, so they aren’t inclined to participate. So if we keep running the same plays—developing meaningful worship gatherings and equipping our folks to invite their friends to said gatherings—we’re done for. More importantly, our message is done for.