“Simply put, the ‘unchurched’ are people who haven't found themselves connecting to God through a church. My husband and I live in Edmonton. One of our friends told us that he read there are approximately 600,000 people in Edmonton and surrounding areas who don't know who Jesus is. Edmonton has a population of 928,182, according to the last census. That's 65% of the population that probably doesn't go to church.
I think sometimes the problem with church is we have this expectation of people who walk through the front doors: It's expectations of how to dress, how to worship, how to act, or even how to speak. Imagine someone walking into an Adventist Church with no context or knowledge of Adventism and being greeted with, ‘Happy Sabbath.’ From that first interaction, I think we've lost them because that's Adventist lingo that someone who hasn't grown up in the Adventist Church won't understand. Then it's usually followed by more Adventist lingo and traditions that the average ‘unchurched’ person is unfamiliar with.
Sometimes church feels like it's become a gateway to Jesus. As if we're the only access point to having a relationship with Him. When really, going to church is just one form of expressing that relationship. I sincerely believe the only way Adventists will be able to connect with the ‘unchurched’ is to realize that we shouldn't be a barrier to Jesus. What I mean is, I don't think people should be a certain way or act a certain way before they meet Jesus. There shouldn't be some sort of test people need to pass before they can get to know Him. Jesus is for everyone: The moment they want to get to know Him is the moment they get to meet Him. Church should never be about screening who gets to have a relationship with Christ.
It's been weighing on our hearts lately. My husband and I don't want to be a barrier to Jesus. We want to be that big flashing arrow that points people in His direction. They don't have to go through us to get to Him, but we're more than willing to point them in His direction if they ask.”