What Non-Believers are Really Looking For

What are non-believers really looking for when they attend your church?

God.

People don’t come to church looking for the best music. There is far better music outside the church. They don’t come looking for entertainment for their kids. Disney is much better at that. They don’t even come for motivational speaking–which they can get elsewhere.

It’s God.

Even when we think it’s the program, the music, etc., it’s God in the program, the music, etc., that draws searchers to it. The church is outdone on every level, except one–the church knows God better than anyone. When we lose sight of that, we not only draw our faithfulness into question–we engage in practicing religion truly toxic to non-believers.

Religion full of programs and dry of God doesn’t fulfill our calling or quench the thirst for God that drew them to church in the first place. It’s like giving Tylenol to a cancer patient, or salt water to one dying of thirst. Non-believers don’t come looking to church looking for things they can get by turning on their radio or downloading via Podcast. They come looking for the true God and hope rooted in Him for everyday life. The programming serves God and His purpose of new creation in the world and human lives.

I love relevancy, great music, great preaching, top-shelf programming–provided they don’t miss the mark or take on a life of their own.

This Sunday is Easter Sunday. Let’s preach the resurrection with the passion and diligence such a sermon deserves. Let people know Jesus is alive, not just historically, but also alive and still healing, redeeming, and restoring. Let them hear it through a well-delivered and prepared sermon. Let them hear I through our passion in worship. Let them meet people who genuinely care about them, regardless of whether they attend another Sunday. Let them see it on the faces of joyful servants who truly love children and those who understand helping a newcomer find a parking spot is participation in the hospitality of Christ. Lift up the risen Christ in every way you can get your hands on and heart to.

Let the Gospel ooze from every pore. Make it unmistakably God. That’s what they’re looking for.

A church willing to do this? That’s what God is looking for.

Author: Tim Spivey

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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