In my last blog we discussed the research related to reaching young adults and their receptivity to our invitations and ministries. There have been numerous studies detailing who are more likely to visit our churches or join based on all kinds of empirical data. New books come out each week with lots of this type of information. I majored in sociology in college so that kind of raw data is interesting to me personally.
As we think about “Saddleback Sam” or whatever name we may designate these demographic projected persons that we are aiming to reach: we must be very, very, careful.
Yes, the data is helpful and useful in our marketing and even in our ministry design, but be careful that you don’t start “profiling” who you are going to reach for Christ!
Why? Because the Great Commission has absolutely no limits on who we should be reaching, ministering, and sharing the Gospel with. It contains no mention of age, yearly incomes, educational attainments, race, religious or political preferences, what kind of car we drive, our toothpaste selection, etc.
When I read Matthew 28:16-20 I am left with the impression, conviction if you will, that it is everyone, everywhere at anytime that we should be aiming at! If we aim wider will we not reach more? Are we limiting the Holy Spirit by drawing our circles too small?
If we are not careful we will lose this biblical dynamic and do a great injustice to the church and to the Great Commission. The two words, “make disciples,” cover everyone and everyone should have multiple opportunities to hear the Gospel, become a disciple, and be a part of a dynamic New Testament Church.