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Editor's Note: Sometimes we spend too much time asking—and answering—the wrong questions. In this post Perry Noble helps us get back into the shoes of the unchurched. Here are ten things unchurched people are probably not asking about your church:

1. “What do you do to disciple people?”  (This question is usually asked by people who want to “microwave” spiritually, not understand that they themselves actually became mature in the “crock pot.”)

2. “Who is speaking this weekend?”  (They usually don’t care about the WHO…it’s the WHAT that matters to them.)

3. “Are you reformed in your theology?”  (Most of them have no idea what in the heck this means!)

4. “Is your church spirit-filled?”

5. “What version of the Bible do you use?”  (Many unchurched people don’t even really know there are different versions!)

6. “What denomination are you affiliated with?”

7. “How many different activities can I sign my family up for in order to add to the insane schedule that we already have?”

8. “Does your pastor teach exegetically through the Scriptures?”

9. “Are there lots of crosses and pictures of Jesus in your church?”

10. “Are you guys pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, or partial trib?”

 



Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. The church averages 26,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses throughout the state. Perry is a gifted communicator and teacher, convicted about speaking the truth as plainly as possible. God has given him a vision and a passion for helping people meet Jesus, and each week he shares God’s word and its practical application in our daily lives. Perry, his wife Lucretia and their daughter Charisse live in Anderson, South Carolina. You can read all of Perry’s unfiltered thoughts about life and leadership at PerryNoble.com. Don’t worry, he holds nothing back.

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Talk about it...

Keith B

commented on Jan 18, 2012

Since the Sunday morning church service isn't about the unchurched, this article is a complete waste of time. As soon as Perry gets the idea through his head that he should be feeding the sheep already in his care instead of trying to look cool and attract new ones, his "church" will be a lot more effective.

Kevin O'brien

commented on Jan 18, 2012

I think these are well-stated. I've seen all 10 of these on church signs recently. Perry is right: when the church projects its ministries out informationally we should scratch the itch and allow the in-house concerns to stay in. Thanks for the discussion-starter, nice work!

John E Miller

commented on Jan 18, 2012

What does "unchurched" mean? It is not scripturally meaningful. Is Mr Noble talking about unbelievers? Talking about different "versions" of the Bible is careless, inaccurate and misleading, unless the reference is to Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness versions of the Bible etc. The Word of God is accurate and those who claim to teach it should be so, especially in their writing. What is the point of this article? How on earth can anybody guess what people are not asking? When people do ask, it is incumbent on believers in Jesus to give them answers that can be justified by scripture, not a lot of mumbo-jumbo that will confuse them. The best answer is to lift up Jesus.

Chris Aiken

commented on Jan 18, 2012

Thanks for the reminder Perry that we ought to answer the questions that people are asking, not the ones insiders are debating. Jesus came to seek and save the lost...we're foolish to not give consideration to the questions the lost are asking. At the same time, we don't always answer only what the lost are asking...we just make sure we are aware of and sensitive to their concerns, questions, and observations about God. After all, the lost didn't show up on SUnday looking for some sporting event. They are there to hear about and challenge their thoughts about God. We ought to bear that in mind when we preach. PREACH on Perry. God uses you to keep us thinking!

Matt Krachunis

commented on Jan 18, 2012

I'm calling it out because I am tired of it- kb you consistently have negative posts, and yet don't have the courage to set up a profile to admit who you are. Why is that? Quit throwing stones from the cheap seats. Great article Perry. The church is still the number one tool that God uses for evangelism in the world. If you have a church that wants to see the unsaved, or unchurched come to the Lord, I think all of the things you say are completely correct. Now, if you have a church that is just trying to attract the disgruntled from down the street, then you're wrong.

Trevor Payton

commented on Jan 18, 2012

I'm not really sure of the value of the word "unchurched" (not biblical at all) as opposed to "lost" (very biblical, and also descriptive of their spiritual state, thus helpful)...but whatever the case, I want to be sure to tackle questions that those people are asking. And for that reason, I'm very thankful for this article. The church is NOT a religious social club, and so our message needs to be accessible, not only to members, but also to seekers.

Keith B

commented on Jan 18, 2012

Matt, I haven't figured out how to change my profile to put my name on it. But even if I did...so what? Is Matt your real name? How would I know? Instead of attacking the messenger, can you dispute what I have to say? Noble's article is all about how we can attract more goats to the party. That's not what the church is about--it's about feeding the sheep and enabling them to go out and make more disciples. The church service is not about evangelism.

Ronald Smith

commented on Jan 18, 2012

A A A A Amen!!!! Just show the love of Christ, they will come in. Set the pulpit on fire with the word of God and they will watch it burn!

Steve Mack

commented on Jan 18, 2012

The point is...these are not the questions the unchurched OR the churched should focused on in the House of God. One of the reasons we love the unchurched coming to church is they remind us by their questions what is most important. And the unchurched are very scripturally meaningful...the 3000 saved on the first day of the church are just one example.

Gary M. Rutherford

commented on Jan 18, 2012

It would help to know what noble means by "unchurched". I assume he means lost and backslidders? If it's the lost, they don't ask too much about the assembly mechanics at all. Believers not assembling together often use questions as an excuse not to attend. The "church" is to go out. The 3000 were lost people coming to know Jesus with one simple question after hearing the gospel; "what must we do to be saved?' Once saved they gathered continually, not concerned with any questions.

Scott Provins

commented on Jan 18, 2012

I have been reading the ministry helps for about a year now. I have recently opened an account to address KB. It is very clear that you do not agree with several of the editors on this page. Everyone is free to their opinion but to judge and slander the people of God is unnecessary and ungodly. Even Jesus instructed His disciples not to go against someone proclaiming His name. One Pharisees even spoke out and said if it is of God no one can stop. I will be the first to admit that I do not agree with all of the articles written. With that said, KB I was wondering how do you minister to the lost. If your service is all about those who believe what happen if someone lost comes and visits are they welcomed?

Keith B

commented on Jan 18, 2012

Scott, I wanted to take a minute to respond to you. Can you please point out to me where I have ever slandered Noble or said something that was incorrect about him? He has made a point to be edgy and offensive. He has point blank said that his goal was to **** off religious people...then lied about that statement 3 weeks later in an interview. He has publicly said he doesn't have time, nor does he want to get to know those in his church. He is not a pastor. A pastor is one who shepherds and guides his flock. Noble doesn't do that. Now...in regards to how I minister? I knock on doors, or go out and find them in other places. If they wander into my church, they are welcome with open arms, and we love on them--but we don't sing "Highway to Hell" in our service so they can feel welcome. There are some great contributors on this site...but it troubles me when we see sermoncentral embrace a charlatan and lift him up as an example of a great minister.

Charles Hargenrader

commented on Jan 19, 2012

You haven't wasted your time with this article. Very well said! You have my amen.

Steve Miller

commented on Jan 19, 2012

I like the variety of material covered in these preaching articles. I don't read every article because title makes me think that the article doesn't relate. This one drew me in. Noble has a bent (like we all do) and I got from this article what I expected. Thanks SermonCentral.

Chaplain Shawn Kennedy

commented on Jan 19, 2012

Regarding the term "unchurched"- would this describe a person who believes in God but does not attend church?

John E Miller

commented on Jan 19, 2012

Satan believes in God. Muslims believe in God. Jehovah's Witnesses believe in God. Mormons believe in God. I could go on. They are unbelievers. To describe people as unchurched is vague and unscriptural. The Bible names things and people as they are. We should not be afraid to do so. Liberal theology has blurred the Truth of God's Word.

Sterling Franklin

commented on Jan 19, 2012

I think he means 'unchurched' by, 'hasn't had a history of going to/growing up in a church,' verdad?

Chaplain Shawn Kennedy

commented on Jan 19, 2012

I would suggest that Muslims, Jehovah Witnesses, et al believe in THEIR God(s), but not necessarily the Judeo-Christian God.

Robert Bravo

commented on Jan 19, 2012

I don?t think his point was to get us to change our service. I think it was to get us to reflect on what message we are truly projecting. That?s just my opinion. I like it. We should always take inventory of ourselves and be willing to let the Holy Spirit teach us something. Let us never be a know it all. I remember in my church history class I learned about when the church drowned believers because they decided to get re-baptized as an adult. They called them the Re-baptizers. The ?know it alls? couldn?t handle the message. I wonder if we have any of them around here?

Robert Bravo

commented on Jan 19, 2012

I like the article because I can see the message behind what he is saying. Sometime we in church get so caught up in things that are not the big idea and pride ourselves on things that don?t reach the lost. For example I personally preach exegetically. I think that?s a good thing that?s why I do it. But if I am going to reach someone for Christ it?s probably not what they care about when it comes to Christ. They are in need of a savior. They are clueless about being a ?spirit filled church? or exegetical preaching. Maybe we should rethink the message that our church is preaching. When people think about our church what do they think? Do they think our message is ?Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again?? Do they think of the Grace of God? Do they see spiritual fruit or religious nuts? If often wonder if Jesus would be comfortable in my church. I wonder if He would call us a brood of vipers. I wonder if He is cheering on our efforts to win a lost soul to Christ. I wonder if He is pleased with our efforts. I wonder if we go through all this effort to win a lost soul to just turn him into a child of the devil.

Jason Cardwell

commented on Jan 21, 2012

It seems to me that there is an ongoing debate about whether the "Sunday morning church service" is about the unchurched or the churched, or the lost or the saved, or the goats or the sheep--however you want to label them. The arguers often state their positions as if they are Bible-based facts. The truth is, the Bible never describes, much less PROSCRIBES a Sunday morning church service. Certainly there are some Biblical principles we can apply, and some things it is clear the church should be about, but to define what a "Sunday morning church service" should be as if the Bible gave us such a definition is not fair or accurate. We bring so much of our own traditions to the pages of the NT it may be difficult to recognize, but go back to the Acts and to the Epistles with a blank page, and you will find you cannot construct an official Bible version of a Sunday morning church service. Please, be gracious to one another as some use their time on Sunday largely to disciple, others largely to worship, others largely to evangelize and fellowship.

Keith B

commented on Jan 21, 2012

Jason...what was the church in 75 AD? It was a gathering of believers. They gathered together to worship God. The apostle Paul did prescribe what should happen in worship services -- we come together to worship God and edify the body. He stated in 1 Cor that if an unbeleiver walks in, we should be aware of it and be sensitive to them, but we don't tailor our services to them. But to take it a step further, Perry Noble has publicly stated that he doesn't care to get to know the congregants---they are beneath him. He doesn't want to sacrifice his family time to eat food he doesn't like with people he doesn't like. Regardless of what Sunday morning is for--this isn't the attitude of a shepherd.

Jason Cardwell

commented on Feb 1, 2012

k b... The Bible never says the church was a gathering of believers. The Bible never says the church gathered together to worship God. The apostle Paul never says anything about worship services, even in 1 Cor. If you disagree, show me the verses. I'm not saying there aren't ways to apply Biblical principles to what we do in our "worship services," but I'm saying that it's not clear cut, and that we interpret, apply, and blend Scripture with our traditions and preferences. I'm not saying anything about Mr. Noble, because I don't know anything about him, but you HAVE inspired me to find out. I'm going to watch a dozen or so of his messages to see what he's about. In the meantime, I just wanted to comment on the larger issue of "Sunday morning worship."

Robert Bravo

commented on Feb 9, 2012

I like the article because I can see the message behind what he is saying. Sometime we in church get so caught up in things that are not the big idea and pride ourselves on things that don?t reach the lost. For example I personally preach exegetically. I think that?s a good thing that?s why I do it. But if I am going to reach someone for Christ it?s probably not what they care about when it comes to Christ. They are in need of a savior. They are clueless about being a ?spirit filled church? or exegetical preaching. Maybe we should rethink the message that our church is preaching. When people think about our church what do they think? Do they think our message is ?Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again?? Do they think of the Grace of God? Do they see spiritual fruit or religious nuts? If often wonder if Jesus would be comfortable in my church. I wonder if He would call us a brood of vipers. I wonder if He is cheering on our efforts to win a lost soul to Christ. I wonder if He is pleased with our efforts. I wonder if we go through all this effort to win a lost soul to just turn him into a child of the devil.

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