One December I was writing a message on the doubts Joseph must have experienced going into the original Christmas. And I had some application about doubts we might experience. I had something about praying over and over for something, but with no answer. And how that might lead doubt to creep in.
Then I realized: For the non-Christians in my audience, my application was irrelevant. They don’t believe in God, don’t pray, and therefore don’t struggle with unanswered prayer.
So I added a second application: “Maybe some of you here today have doubts about this entire Christmas story. A virgin gets pregnant?! Because she is somehow mysteriously impregnated by the invisible Spirit of God? And the baby turns out to be God Himself, in the flesh, and a diaper?! It all seems kind of absurd. And maybe you’re struggling with doubts about whether you can believe this story.”
What did that do? It let them know that our church is a place, a safe place, not just for people who believe, but also for people who don’t believe. It let them know that I knew they were there, and I understood their issues.
If you’re someone who teaches the Bible, do you write (and then read through) your messages with the non-believing non-Christians in your audience in mind? If not, no wonder you don’t have many in your church. And, if not, come to our Vault Conference where you’ll get all kinds of practical equipping to help you “do church for people who don’t like church.”