3 Practical Ways We Can Reach the Lost in 2016

Some new numbers from the Barna Group are staggering. Almost HALF of Americans now fit into the "post-Christian" or "irreligious" category! What can we do as believers? Here are 3 very practical and very do-able suggestions.

Staggering numbers!

They came in a small “info-graphic” to my cell phone.

When I first saw them, I thought I was reading them wrong.

Here’s the graphic from Barna.org:

Some new numbers from the Barna Group are staggering. Almost HALF of Americans now fit into the "post-Christian" or "irreligious" category! What can we do as believers? Here are 3 very practical and very do-able suggestions.

These numbers show that 44% of Americans surveyed consider themselves to be “post-Christian” or “non-religious” or “irreligious.”

In 2013, only 37% of Americans fit into this post-Christian thinking. Now, two years later, the number has grown by 5%.

Post-Christian Metrics
To qualify as “post-Christian,” individuals had to meet 60% or more of the following factors (nine or more). “Highly post-Christian” individuals meet 80% or more of the factors (12 or more of these 15 criteria). (Info from Barna.org)

  1. Do not believe in God
  2. Identify as atheist or agnostic
  3. Disagree that faith is important in their lives
  4. Have not prayed to God (in the last year)
  5. Have never made a commitment to Jesus
  6. Disagree the Bible is accurate
  7. Have not donated money to a church (in the last year)
  8. Have not attended a Christian church (in the last year)
  9. Agree that Jesus committed sins
  10. Do not feel a responsibility to “share their faith”
  11. Have not read the Bible (in the last week)
  12. Have not volunteered at church (in the last week)
  13. Have not attended Sunday school (in the last week)
  14. Have not attended religious small group (in the last week)
  15. Do not participate in a house church (in the last year)

The trend is real.

People are less interested in spiritual things. People are leaving our churches. People are not as open to the gospel.

So, what can we do?

~ How can we make a difference?

~ How can we combat this trend?

 Some new numbers from the Barna Group are staggering. Almost HALF of Americans now fit into the "post-Christian" or "irreligious" category! What can we do as believers? Here are 3 very practical and very do-able suggestions.

As believers–concerned about our culture–I believe we can do 3 things to begin to reach those around us:

1} Get the main things in the right order.

Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31, NIV

First – Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and body.

Totally and completely seek the Lord as you never have before. Draw up close to Him; spend more time with Him.

  • Get into the Bible as you never have before. Read it. Think on it. Memorize it.
  • Pray as you never have before. You learn to pray by praying. So, pray more, and become more proficient at praying.
  • Read books that will draw you closer to the Lord.
  • Listen to radio and podcasts that will deepen your relationship with Him.

Second – Love yourself.

Get okay in your own skin. You are God’s original design and amazing creation. He made you well and wants you to realize that.

In Psalm 139, King David puts it this way, I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.”

It’s really pretty simple: when we understand how loved we are by God, we can reach out and love others. Knowing how precious I am to the Creator of this universe, I can reach out in confidence to those around me.

Third – Love other people.

Ask God to give you love for others. Pray for them. Reach out in kindness to them.

  • Treat other people as you wish to be treated.
  • Give to others what you need.
  • Invite, include, care, and show affection for others.
  • Intentionally and unselfishly, reach out in love.

2} Get our hearts in the right place.

What if you and I got up every morning in 2016, and prayed a prayer like this one:

“Lord, I’m willing to be used by You today.

Show me where to go, who to talk to, who to reach out to, how to serve, and lead me anywhere You want me to go today.

I will follow. I will obey. Direct me.”

3} Get out there!

Often, the greatest victories are won by taking that first step and by showing up. To reach others for Christ, we must get out there.

It may be as simple as striking up a conversation at the coffee shop or talking to the checker at the grocery. We may begin a conversation with a co-worker or reach out to a new neighbor.

During the holidays, one of my good friends said the most interesting thing as we were talking about witnessing.

She said:

“I guess I don’t care as much about ‘the lost’ as much as I used to… because if I cared, I would get up, go out there, and talk to my neighbors.”

Some new numbers from the Barna Group are staggering. Almost HALF of Americans now fit into the "post-Christian" or "irreligious" category! What can we do as believers? Here are 3 very practical and very do-able suggestions.

What if, in 2016, you and I cared enough to get up, go out there, and talk to our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family?

Maybe this post-Christian trend could be reversed (Or, at least, slowed down)!

 

Some new numbers from the Barna Group are staggering. Almost HALF of Americans now fit into the "post-Christian" or "irreligious" category! What can we do as believers? Here are 3 very practical and very do-able suggestions.So, what do YOU think?

Is America become post-Christian?

Why are we drifting away from the Lord?

What can we do to reverse it the trends?

In what ways are you, your family, and your church making a difference?

I always enjoy hearing from you!

————–

**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has encouraged you today — would you share it with someone else? 

~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~

© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sources:

https://barna.org

https://barna.org/barna-update/culture/728-america-more-post-christian-than-two-years-ago#.VoZ34TZYdgo

**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has encouraged you today — would you share it with someone else? 

~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~

© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.








New Graphic

We respect your email privacy

About helloredds@gmail.com

Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

21 thoughts on “3 Practical Ways We Can Reach the Lost in 2016

  1. I loved reading your practical advice on how to reach people who are lost. I agree, that we are living in a time where America could be called Post Christian and that there is a real need to do these things you have written about…reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus.
    I recently heard an interesting perspective on those stats you shared at the beginning…yes, less people identify as Christian now, but the number of people who called themselves Christian in the past often included those who were “cultural Christians”. It was the culturally acceptable thing to do, in other words. Now that, often, it is NOT the culturally acceptable thing to do, the numbers of people who identify as Christian are lower, but probably more accurate.
    In any case, the need is very real. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Hey Dawn,

      Thanks for stopping by to leave a thoughtful word today. You are so right – maybe people are just being more honest about faith these days. Maybe fewer people are pretending. You make a very interesting point!

      Whatever the case, I know that I just want to be available and ready to share about the Hope that is within me.

      I hope you have a blessed day today~
      Melanie

  2. Great points, Melanie! I had never heard the term “Post Christian” before. How horrible that people can think like this. This world needs a lot of love, prayer and Jesus. Thanks so much for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

    1. I believe “Post-Christian” is a new term. It’s a great reminder that we need to be the light, isn’t it!
      Praying that God will use you and your family to be bright lights!
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  3. Hi Melanie,
    Over here in NZ, I suspect the stats would show a similar picture. Most of us want to be available to God – I know I do. I admit, though that often i go and complicate it, allow fear to arise, or simply get so caught up with “my day” that I miss the prompting of the Holy Spirit(& then feel guilty!). Your blog has refocused me on being more available to Him. I am new to your site and look forward to getting to know you.

    1. Hey Linda,

      Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment today. And, I’ll bet you are right that things in NZ are similar to the US as far as numbers of true believers go.

      It’s a challenging day that we live in, and I think that our lights are going to have to shine brighter and brighter. I’m praying that God will use you sweetly as you become more available to Him.

      So glad to connect with you over the wires!
      You have blessed me today~
      Melanie

  4. I really appreciate your passion for souls and witnessing. Especially liked getting our hearts right and getting out there! I remember hearing the same words from our friend…haunting and daunting. May God rekindle a desire to share His saving gospel among His people in 2016!

  5. This post certainly gets me thinking Mel. I’m working in getting back into church, it has been a difficult struggle for me as I shared with you in a prayer request. Thanks for writing what many of us need to hear.

    1. Hey Michelle,

      Thanks for sharing your struggles with me. I’m praying that you will get on back into church – for you and for that church. I believe you have so much to offer. There’s a church that needs you!!

      I don’t know what happened to cause you to stop going, but I’m praying that you will “want” to go again… that you will be drawn back into fellowship with a community of believers.

      Your life is a blessing to mine~
      Melanie

  6. I glanced over this email this morning but saw you on the link up tonight and thought – here’s my chance! I need to read her post! Those results are indeed staggering and if we will just take opportunities as they come and reach out even to the person in line behind us, it could make a difference. The lost need us now more than ever and I love your practical ways to do it!
    Thanks for joining us at Tuesday Talk today – I think you’re a regular though, aren’t you! 🙂

    1. Hey Ruthie,
      Thanks for stopping by tonight to leave a kind word! I really appreciate your encouragement!
      And, I do pray that we will all take more chances to reach out those around us!
      And, yes, I like up almost weekly with Tuesday Talk. Lots of sweet folks.
      Hope you’ll have a blessed evening~
      Melanie

  7. Love this advice- it’s so easy to get surrounded in our comfort zones of church and forget about the lost who are around us. I’m challenged to get out there and spread Gods love!

    1. Hey Keri,

      Thank you for the kind words. And, it is so easy and normal to forget the lost. I do pray that we will all be more open and aware of those around us!

      I also hope you and your family will have a wonderful day.
      Glad to connect with you~
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  8. Melanie, thanks so much for this important post. I like your practical advice here. We need to seek God as never before and get out there and love on others, share the message with them. Thanks for sharing these startling statistics. We all know it’s true, but seeing it in your post hits home.

    1. Thank you, Betsy, for stopping by to leave a kind word! I really appreciate your words of affirmation.

      And, I agree. We a living on a day when it’s vital that we reach out~

      It’s a joy to connect with you!
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  9. Great article! I enjoyed reading it. I love how you made it simple and doable by just sticking to the main things. Sometimes we really over-complicate Christianity, don’t we?

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth!

      I don’t know any other way to be than simple! In fact, one precious older sister who poured into my life suggested that I always remember this acrostic – KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.

      Trying to follow her advice!

      Appreciate your kind words today.
      You have blessed me!
      Melanie

  10. Rev and I keep hearing the post-Christian talk. It’s especially difficult for him as he serves on staff at our Seminary. I do think we have some things mixed up, but as long as Jesus is Lord, and He is, there is hope and there is work for us to do. Thanks for sharing this my friend!

    1. Hey Deb,
      I’m not sure about all of the Post-Christian talk that is going on, but I do believe that some things are beginning to shift.
      Interestingly, my husband is a pastor and also on the staff at a seminary. (That’s probably why I connect with you so much!)
      And, I agree – God is still in complete control. He is our absolute hope!
      Hope you have a blessed weekend~
      Melanie

  11. I loved this Melanie… and now, more than ever, we need to reach the lost. This is our world right now and I truly think we’re at a critical time in history when there’s going to be falling away BUT there will also be intense revival.

    Thank you for the encouragement to deepen my relationship with God and reach out to others more. <3

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Sure do appreciate you stopping by to leave a good word today.
      And, I agree – people need Jesus like never before!
      So glad you were encouraged. I pray God will use you and your ministry to impact the Kingdom!
      Blessings,
      Melanie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *