Many Christians who grew up in church or have been going to church for a while find it difficult to understand non-Christians’ point of view. Especially when it comes to how non-Christians feel when they visit church service on Sunday for the first time, we can easily be oblivious to the things that might turn them off. Since I also grew up in a church, I had to teach myself how it feels like to not go to church and how it is like to live without Christian faith. Unless we intentionally see things from their point of view, we won’t feel the need to change what prevents people to be attracted to the church.
Not too long ago, the western culture was somewhat “Christian” and people generally considered Bible as a source of authority. Many people went to church because that was what most of their neighbors did and were willing to adapt to church culture though they might have felt uncomfortable. However, things are changing really fast outside the walls of the church these days. Many deny the concept of “authority” and consider “rituals” as old-fashioned and traditional. Modern people often find religion irrelevant” in their lives.
However, if you look at the history, when the church was at its best, it was persecuted but it was “relevant” to the outsiders. When the church was healthy and growing, it was “missional” at its core. It radically welcomed outsiders just as Jesus taught them. Through famous Jerusalem council, apostles made a decision to make non-Christians who were gentiles easy to become Jesus followers, by removing the requirements for them to become a Jew and keep the Jewish law (or tradition).
We want to reach out to people outside the walls of our church. We want to build a missional culture so that unchurched people don’t have to leap over our existing “churchy” culture to find Jesus. Let us continually check if we are slowly becoming insider-friendly. The biggest danger to any organization rarely comes from outside. History tells us that it almost always started from within. It usually began from insiders getting too comfortable to adapt to outside change.