What Non-Christians Think About The Christian Church is the title of a Blog written by Christian leadership guru Carey Nieuwhof. Nieuwhof, a former successful Canadian Pastor, has written much as of late about the culture that we live in, how it has had a negative impact on Church attendance and engagement, and what Pastors and Church Leaders can do to better reach and disciple people in today’s world.
Nieuwhof begins his article by saying, “Self-awareness is one of the keys to emotional intelligence. It’s also a key to growth.” He then goes on to say, referring to some recent research by the Barna Group, that there is a big self-awareness gap between how non-Christian people see the church versus how people who attend church see it. Nieuwhof writes, “It’s also a generational gap. Essentially, the gap is this: The younger you are and the more unchurched you are, the less favorably you see the church. The older and more churched you are, the more favorably you see the church.”
In his Blog post, Nieuwhof makes these assertions based on the Barna Group research. He writes that:
- Only 21% of Non-Christian People have a positive perception of the local Church
- Half of Non-Christian Americans don’t trust local Pastors
- Millennials think the local Church is detached from the real issues People are facing
In regards to the third point, Nieuwhof says, “That’s evidence of a growing generational gap about social issues and the expectation of younger generations to see their Church addressing the broader social issues of the day.” He further writes, “The challenge here for Church leaders is that it’s difficult to reach a community that the next generation doesn’t believe you care about.
Naturally, if you do care about your community (as many church leaders do), it’s probably important to have some evidence that that’s the case beyond virtue signaling or token gestures. Therefore, a deep investment in the health and well-being of the people who live in the community you’re trying to reach is not only the right thing; it’s a step toward ushering them into the hope and love of the Gospel.”