In They like Jesus, but not the Church, even Dan Kimball confesses that he made the same discovery at one point– no non-Christian relationships.
As I have given relational evangelism training seminars around the US and Latin America, the most common confession I hear from those who have walked with Christ for many years
I don’t have any unchurched friends.
The gradual change
For those with an adult conversion experience, they often notice that when they first come to faith, they have a lot of connections with unreached or unchurched people.
As their worldview changes with their new found faith, new relationships form in the church, values change, and social networks change. It’s a natural process and one that is actually very helpful for discipleship.
It’s a drifting away from the world.
But the obvious downside is that one may forget to maintain the prior relationships and is suddenly in the cocoon of
Doing church — committee meetings, bible studies, and other volunteer activities.
Busy life transitions — various seasons of life have time commitments that minimize our ability to preserve friendships. The constant rush from one activity to the next. Example: young kids growing older often leads to more extra activity to keep up with sports, music, or other clubs. Parents move to chaperone and
Isolation through Technology — using computers, cell phones, iPods and iPhones, we connect with those we want to, no longer taking the time to even notice the people around us. I notice this more and more when I’m in American airports watching people while waiting for my next flight.
The cocoon forms.
It’s natural and happens with nearly everyone.
When I was pastoring a local church, I found myself spending way too much time in the office — surrounded by church people, called by church people, and calling on church people for visitation.
My time not in the office was spent in the car shuffling family members from event to event, or doing supply runs for church events.
I eventually left that routine — to get out of the Christian Bubble.
If you are a pastor – where do you connect with unchurched or unreached people on a regular basis?
If you are not a pastor — what can you do to help your pastor spend time with unchurched or unreached people?
Let me ask you this:
Did you do the exercise in the prior entry Do you have any non-Christian Friendships?
If you have found yourself in the cocoon, how did it form in your life?
What steps can you take this week to get out?