What if the greatest hindrance to one’s becoming a Christian were Christians themselves and their philosophies of church, …which determine everything from lingo to associations and presentation/liturgy?
Church people often put things in ways no one but church people understand, and they sometimes do this while priding themselves on not being “seeker-sensitive.” Indeed, most conservative evangelical churches couldn’t care less about how they sound to a non-believer who might walk into their services, “because church is primarily for believers, Amen”?! In fact, the leaders of these kinds of churches teach that making disciples is what Christians should do, instead of focusing on making Christians (evangelizing or being seeker-friendly).
Conservative Evangelicals also focus a lot on study, study, study to find out what a passage really means–on going deep more than going wide. Now, study is certainly not wrong, and Christians should be students of the Word; but to the Christians I describe, I can only say that true understanding of the Christian faith does not come from the head only but also from the heart, which means trying out what one reads/hears (Mark 4:24; Matt. 7:2; Philemon 1:6 (NLT); John 7:17; James 1:22). In fact, these passages indicate that there must be some obedience to what one knows before he can understand the full meaning of what he thinks he knows and (secondly) what God wants to show him next.
Some disciple the head. Some disciple the heart. But, it is rare to find those who disciple both. How can one make disciples of others who are unbelievers, if that one is taught in church that the church is isolationist? There is also nothing wrong with a church being loving toward unbelievers, and the Scripture indicates that we really should focus on being intelligible to mostly anyone at all times, especially when they visit us at church (1 Cor. 14:23). The churched are often so “churchy” they can’t speak anything about their faith except in “church lingo,” let alone disciple others. Due to their redefinition of holiness and worldliness (equated with being a “good Christian” or “good Christian maker”), these same ones also forget that we should be a part of the lives of the lost (1 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 9:19-23), and so, attempt to reform other churches who are going both deep and wide–deep in the word, and wide in acting on it–especially among the lost and the seeking.
Why poke at other churches who are reaching those whom others either cannot or will not reach? It seems the universal body of Christ has different functions, differing abilities, differing qualities (1 Cor. 12:16). If each focuses on doing his part to be disciple making, as well as encouraging one another till we are saying Christ’s words and doing Christ’s works, then I am sure Christ’s will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Eph. 4:12-14).