The Message of the Church Is not Communicated

A few months ago I conducted a survey of the residents of the neighborhood around the church. I shared the results in a sermon, but they languished on my desk for all this time, waiting for the chance to get them down more permanently. Before they get tossed into the garbage, here they are:

The question: What is the essential message of the Church? (Whether you believe it or not, or what your feelings on it are.)

These are the answers (verbatim) given by 28 individuals who were on the porch or on the street randomly:

I don’t know
Be spiritual
to learn about God
believe in God
Believe in God
No idea
Have faith in the man who died for you and to abide by him and make it to the kingdom come
Following and Teaching of Christ
Don’t sin / be good
to be a good person
Peace on Earth
Teach about God
Jesus Christ is living amongst us
Teachings of God and Jesus
Have Faith
Jesus and the Lord’s love
Don’t know
Do good and be saved
Love, Peace and Unity
Family Values
That people to believe that He was here and not fake
Tolerant of everyone
lead a good life
live right and treat other as yourself

COMMENTARY: Notable amongst these answers is the almost complete absence of Grace, Jesus Christ, Sin and Forgiveness. So prominent is “being good” and works righteousness. Everyone thinks they know what the church is all about. In reality they have not a clue!

Perhaps we all need to remind ourselves of what the essential message of the church really is, and work to share that message with our neighbors and friends and family.


One thought on “The Message of the Church Is not Communicated

  1. Wow, what a glaring survey!

    It is scary to think that the word Grace didn’t even come up once in 28 comments. Is grace a foreign language? Did Romans fall out of vogue? Sin begets sin and many people feel that just being good will buy them their eternal reward. God’s Grace is one of the most amazing parts of Christianity. I am sad along with celebrating the chance to know how much of the world still needs a saving knowledge of Jesus. There is a lot of work to do!


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