為什麼弟兄姐妹不邀請人到教會?(翻譯文章)(Why Church Members Don’t Invite Others to Church-Chuck Lawless)

幾年以前,有多個研究表示,很大比例沒有去教會的人,他們表示只要有人邀請,他們就會考慮去教會。這個問題不是出於不去教會的人身上,相反這常常是教會的人沒有好好去邀請別人參加教會。我教會同工去問那些教會的會眾為何會冷淡邀請人來教會,這裡是十個常常會聽到的回應(次序不分先後):

1. 「我根本沒有在意」-許多教會會眾與沒有去教會的朋友每週保持聯絡,儘管不是每天聯絡。他們跟他們一起上課、工作、與他們一起生活,甚至有時候跟他們住在一起。許多教會的朋友沒有做的是,把沒有去教會的人視為「羊沒有牧人」(太9:36),是一個屬靈的被造物而需要救贖和教會生活。
2. 「我害怕被拒絕」-沒有人喜歡被拒絕,特別是硬著頭皮去邀請人去教會。因此不邀請人去就可以避免這樣的可能性(有趣地,弟兄姐妹可以告訴我們多少次其他人說「不」,但是很少人告訴我們他們有多少次是被粗魯地或不友善地被拒絕)。
3.「音樂不夠好」-有些人會說崇拜的辯論已經結束,但是看起來卻仍然延續著。我們的同工不斷地聽到一些微言,好像「太吵了」、「太悶了」、「我們唱了重複又重複」,還有「沒有人明白這些歌」。弟兄姐妹如果不享受這些音樂很明顯的就不會邀請其他人參加。
4. 「講道太硬了」-這個反應看起來是讓人最痛苦去承認。弟兄姐妹如果愛他們的牧者,都不願意傷害他們,但是他們卻會對其他負責的同工誠實的表達。當講台弱的時候,對沒有參加教會的人的邀請就會減弱。
5. 「我們現在有太多教會的問題」-弟兄姐妹不明白教會都有問題,他們常常認為當有些東西「不對勁」,他們看到參與度減低,或者聽到一些內部衝突,就簡單的想,他們不想把他們的朋友帶到衝突的地方。
6. 「我們的教會太多人了」-這是美國人特有的問題,因為美國人保護我們的個人空間。我們不喜歡擁擠,就算是在教會。不但如此,我們在進入擁擠的教會以前,我們並不希望要尋找停車位。為了避免擁擠就是停止邀請任何人。
7. 「沒有人曾經催逼我去邀請別人」-這個問題跟本文的第一點有關係。有些弟兄姐妹從來都不邀請人是因為沒有人脆促他們要去這樣做,當知道許多沒有參加教會的人其實很樂意應邀去教會,這個想法就更為可悲。
8. 「我不知道如何開始」-邀請人去教會看來很容易,但對於許多弟兄姐妹來說並不是如此。在一個幾乎禁止談論宗教和政治的文化,即使是資深的基督徒對如何邀請人也有難言之隱。
9. 「這是聖靈的工作,不是我來邀請人去教會」-公平來說,我們最初從教會聽到這樣的回應,是為了要避免「人本」的方式去傳福音,他們是要警覺注意他們在傳福音的角色,包括是純粹邀請其他人去教會。
10. 「要人來這裡太遠了」-在這個流動的社會中,有時候會把教會的聽眾擴展到離我們住家很遠的地方。但是我們的同工發現,那些從很遠的地方開車的會眾,他們會變得不願意邀請其他人也開相同的距離。

你還有其他的理由加到這個表嗎?你曾經用過什麼辦法解決這些回應呢?

翻譯:李政斌

英文原文:

everal years ago, more than one study showed large percentages of unchurched would consider attending a church if someone simply invited them. The problem is not the attitude of the unchurched; rather, it is often the failure of church members to invite others. When my church consulting teams have asked church members about their reticence to invite others to church, here are ten responses we have often heard (listed in no particular order):

  1. “I just don’t think about it.” – Many church members have contact with the unchurched every week, if not every day. They go to school with them, work with them, live beside them – and sometimes live with them. What church folks don’t do, though, is see the unchurched as “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), as spiritual beings in need of redemption and a church family.
  2. “I’m afraid I’ll be rejected.” – Nobody likes to be turned down, especially after taking the risk to invite somebody to church. It’s just easier to avoid that possibility by not inviting anyone at all (interestingly, church members could tell us times when others said “no,” but few could tell us of times when they were rudely or unkindly rejected).
  3. “The music isn’t that good.” – Some may argue the worship wars are over, but the battles seem to be ongoing. Our teams continue to hear refrains like, “it’s too loud,” “it’s too boring,”  “we sing it over and over again,” and “nobody knows the songs.” Church members who themselves don’t enjoy the music don’t readily invite others to join them.
  4. “The preaching isn’t strong.” – This response was seemingly the most painful one to admit. Church members who love their pastors do not want to hurt them, but they spoke honestly to our consulting teams. When the preaching is poor, invitations to the unchurched decrease.
  5. “We’ve got too many church problems right now.” – Church members don’t always know all the issues facing a congregation, but they frequently recognize when something “just isn’t right.” They see the attendance decreasing, or they hear of internal conflict. Simply stated, they do not invite their friends onto a battleground.
  6. “Our church is already too crowded.” – This issue is particularly an American one, as Americans protect our personal space. We don’t like being cramped, even in church. Moreover, we don’t want to have to search for a parking space before entering that already crowded building. One way to avoid more crowding is to stop inviting anyone.
  7. “Nobody ever challenged me to invite anyone.” – This reason is related to the first one on this list. Some church members never think about inviting others because no one has challenged them to do so. This response is especially tragic if many unchurched would respond affirmatively to an invitation.
  8. “I don’t know how to start the conversation.” – Simply inviting somebody to church would seem easy, but that’s not the case for many church members. In a culture where discussing religion or politics is almost forbidden, even long-term Christians struggle with initiating an invitation to church.
  9. “It’s the Spirit’s job—not mine—to bring people to church.” – To be fair, we have heard this response primarily from congregations seeking to avoid any “man-centered” approach to evangelism. In their zeal to keep their focus on God, they walk cautiously when considering their role in evangelism – including simply inviting others to church.
  10. “It’s too far for people to come.” – We live in a mobile culture that promotes church attendance sometimes quite far from where we live. Our teams have learned, however, that church members who drive a long distance are less willing to invite others to drive that same distance.

What reasons would you add to this list? What steps have you taken to address these responses?

原文出處:http://thomrainer.com/2014/07/15/church-members-dont-invite-others-church/

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