Churches Must Engage the Unbeliever

Aaron Ivey talks about the large number of unbelievers that are present in church on any given Sunday and the necessity for the church to engage them and make them feel welcome.

Here are a few of the main points:

Aaron Ivey: Another kind of crucial way in engaging people is for us to nod to the unbeliever. Not nodding in a cynical sort of way, but actually acknowledging that a huge group of people in your church, at least it’s this way in our culture, are unbelievers.

We just did a church survey across all of our campuses, and I think we were all pretty surprised to see how many people on a normal Sunday aren’t connected and bought in. We had a couple questions: Are you an unbeliever? Are you exploring the faith? Are you a fully devoted disciple of Christ? It was that kind of question. Almost 25% at our campus had checked either “unbeliever” or “just curious about the faith.”

So, if you talk about engagement, it means that you can’t just step up on a stage and do your set and lead believers. You can’t do that if 25% of the room is willing to admit, “I’m here because I’m checking out the faith, and I’m not sure if I’m a believer yet.”

If we’re going to engage, we have to communicate with them and show hospitality to them as much as we can. So, there’s not one Sunday that goes by where in a call to worship or a welcome either me or Logan or another campus pastor doesn’t at least say, “Hey, if you don’t know Jesus or you’re an unbeliever, or unsure about faith, we want you to know that it’s our privilege to host you guys here. We’re so glad that you’re here. We hope you hear about the hope that we’ve found in Jesus, and we hope you come back.”

Just articulating those kinds of things says: we’re engaging you. We care more about your soul than we care about you hearing what songs we’re going to sing today.

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Aaron Ivey

About Aaron Ivey

Aaron is the Pastor of Worship at The Austin Stone Community Church. Aaron lives in Austin with his wife Jamie, and four children: Cayden, Deacon, Amos and Story.