If You Want to Reach New People, You’ll Need New Methods

There’s nothing wrong with traditional methods of doing church. As long as you want to minister to traditional church members.

1. Meeting in smaller rather than bigger groups, even in big cities.

2. In nontraditional sites.

3. Locally grown and less generic.

4. More hands-on in mission and outreach.

5. More focused on relationship building.

6. Highly adaptable, even experimental.

7. Passionately focused on the core truths of God’s Word.

At least I hope so.

Unfortunately, it’s also very likely that, while these new ways of doing church will be met with joy and relief by some, they will be met with skepticism and anger by many.

Step Up and Stand Out

If you’re crazy in love with Jesus and want to help other people fall crazy in love with Jesus, but you can’t figure out how and where you fit in a traditional local church setting, here’s my suggestion.

Stop trying to fit in.

Start standing out.

Start ministering the unchangeable truths and grace of Jesus in ways that make sense for the people God is calling you to minister to. People who won’t come to a traditional church. Don’t worry about all the naysayers who will condemn you just because what you’re doing is different.

The church could use a boatload of different right now.

And I’m not the only old, traditional church guy who will be cheering you on, either. There are a lot of us.

We may not know how to do it ourselves, but maybe we can be like Simeon and Anna. Maybe we can recognize Jesus when he shows up at the temple in a way no one else expected.

After all, the only “right” way to do church is any way that reaches people for Jesus.

So what do you think? Are you feeling the call to stand up and step out?

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Karl Vaters
Karl Vaters is the author of The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking That Divides Us. He’s been in pastoral ministry for over 30 years and has been the lead pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California for over 20 years. He’s also the founder of NewSmallChurch.com, a blog that encourages, connects and equips innovative Small Church pastors.