I don’t have any unchurched friends.
The gradual changeFor 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.
Pastors includedWhen 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?
Are we called to isolate ourselves?One reaction to the culture is to isolate ourselves:
- Christian social networks,
- Christian business,
- see only Christian movies,
- listen to Christian radio, and
- attend the local coffee house when a Christian band is playing.