hurdles-150490_640The greatest hurdle you and your church face is to develop effective strategies to reach the unbelievers in your community. This is the largest population group in the country. If you and your church don’t become effective at reaching those who are non-Christians since birth, you will not reap a harvest of believers in the coming revival/move of God.  In this season of secularism, your church will likely die.  Long term, your church cannot sustain life by Christians producing babies or attracting believers from other churches.

When we consult a church, instead of relying on the church’s records alone, we ask the people themselves, using an anonymous questionnaire given to everyone in worship. The question for this graphic is: “Did you become a Christian before you started attending this church, or after?” This means, in their own words, they demonstrate whether or not the church is effectively reaching “hard core, honest-to-goodness unchurched people.” The graph below is from an actual church, but it reflects the general trend we see in most churches.


This is the hurdle: While America has increased dramatically in the number of non-Christians, the Christian church has decreased dramatically in its ability to reach them. This is the greatest challenge to the Christian movement in the U.S. Most do not know how to reach unchurched people.

Many churches are working harder and harder, using old strategies that no longer work. To make the switch is very doable in every church. However, it is a big task that almost always requires outside help. Church leaders are simply not equipped to do this because they have not been trained in mission strategy. Get help, or your church will surely decline. Remember, the timing is like a four-alarm fire. To quote Jesus: “You have a saying, ‘four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields, the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested” (John 4:35, TEV).

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).

This is excerpted from the November/December 2015 Church Doctor Report – Is There a Four-Alarm Fire In Your Church?: Reaching Unchurched People Today.

Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by emailTwitter, Facebook, or visit

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