Churches have a problem.
How do we win people to Christ and still please the culture around us?
Sometimes we can’t. Sometimes a church that’s ‘on fire for God’ intimidates unbelievers. That’s why they avoid it.
Notice what happened in Acts chapter five when the apostles demonstrated the supernatural power of God:
“And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.”
Did you see that?
Outsiders felt intimidated by the supernatural activity in the church, but it didn’t stop the growth.
And the supernatural events continued to happen:
“As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”
That reminds me of a passage in 1 Corinthians 14:24-25:
“But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’”
Despite the intimidation factor, that’s what unbelieving seekers want.
They want an encounter with God!
That means that we—the church—must encounter Him regularly. If not, unbelievers won’t be intimidated (or won) by a timid church.
Stop apologizing for being the church. The unbelieving culture will never understand us (1 Corinthians 2:14). But when they encounter God and His love through us… Wow!