How We Roll: Two Assumptions

In our three short years of ministry, we have discovered at Compass Point the only people looking for community, purpose, better life management and “feel good” Christianity are…Christians. We have discovered that the “unchurched” or “disconnected” are looking for the God…and God alone. Time and time again we are reminded of that. Not just because we are seeing fruit in what God is leading us to do…but because we talk to many folks within our community that would never identify themselves as Christians. Because of this, the leadership at Compass Point clings to two assumptions when planning and implementing what we do:

Assumption #1 – Disconnected people come to church because the Holy Spirit is already at work in them. If God is already speaking to them…then all we have to do is be sensitive to His leading in the steps we need to take. The last thing we want to do is mess up God’s plan for someone’s life because we were locked into set systems and practices. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a system in place for discipleship…but it does mean we don’t have a set system for the “salvation experience”. On my best day in the pulpit all I can do is plant seed. Each person comes to the Father by Jesus Christ through the individual way the Holy Spirit speaks into their life. The best we as pastors and Christians can hope for is that God will use us somewhere in the process. When a ‘disconnected” person walks into Compass Point we listen…and train our flock to listen…to God for the next instructions…if there are any. At the end of the day He doesn’t even need us in the process…but it does tend to rock your world when He allows you to be.

Assumption #2 – Disconnected people are coming to church because they are looking for authenticity. We have discovered that “unchurched” people aren’t looking for sensitivity…they are looking for authenticity. In the 21st Century “seeker-sensitive” will kill you…it is a dinosaur of a concept. While I can only speak intelligently about the needs of the “disconnected” in Lakeland, Florida…we have found that disconnected people want to hear the authentic preaching of God’s Word and be involved with authentic friendships…not just someone trying to get a notch in their “evangelism belt”. It may not be that way elsewhere…though in talking to other pastors…I feel that it is. “Unchurched” people don’t want a “mamby pamby” message about how to love your mother-in-law in seven easy steps…they want to hear about a God that doesn’t tolerate sin and the Bible without cultural filters. “Disconnected” people aren’t looking for a cookie-cutter approach or corporate system for how to get involved with a small group…they are looking for some one to befriend them and then ask them to join in.

Anyway, this is the two assumptions we have concerning “disconnected” people that join us on Sunday or any other time throughout the week. It is also just one of the ways we roll at Compass Point.

How We Roll: Two Assumptions

9 thoughts on “How We Roll: Two Assumptions

  1. Chris, I am in Missouri and I do feel as well that authenticity and truth is what people are looking for. I’ve found that the best way to grow your church via “transfer” growth is to preach the “3 steps to success” talks. We are young and still figuring out how to reach the unchurched and disconnected in great ways. I do agree that in our area, they are not looking for “cookie cutter” or a “corporate approach.” I really believe that our task is to preach the gospel faithfully and create environments for the Spirit to move.

    We are also trying to build relationships back into the community through our GAP service projects. We have studied our county (not for a sermon topic), rather for the best places and ways we can SERVE out in the world. We are hoping to re-connect the church with our community through our GAP service ministries.

    Great post! I saw you play guitar hero at EVOLVE. It was scary bad. šŸ™‚

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  2. I was thinking recently that by simply the definition of His name, the Holy Spirit expresses Himself in 7 different ways. Surely there are more, but the name alone encompasses 7 separate expressions of character. So it would be wrong of me to offer Counsel to someone who really needs the Helper. Or Comfort to someone that God wants to reveal Himself as Advocate. I like what you wrote about being involved somewhere in the process. That’s a primary way that I want to “disciple” people – I want to help them hear God’s voice for themselves so that they will know what role He is trying to express to others and then boldly act on what their faith tells them they heard.

    Thanks for the post.

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  3. The ONLY challenges we’ve had to any changes in our programs/etc has come from constipated Christians. The simpler we get, the more unchurched and disconnected like it. They’re not involved in all the other stuff anyway.

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  4. Let me share a little Spurgeon on this one

    I do not come into the pulpit hoping that somebody
    of his own free will, will return to Christ. My hope
    lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master
    will lay hold of some of them and say, “You are
    mine and you shall be mine. I claim you for
    myself”. My hope arises from the freeness of
    grace not the freedom of the will. A poor haul of
    fish will a gospel fisherman make if he takes
    none but those who are eager to jump into the net.

    Charles H. Spurgeon

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  5. NWProdigal says:

    As a one-year old Christian, I can tell you that what I look for in a church isn’t anything but the straight truth. Don’t soothe me…challenge me! Dare me to be better and please my God! The biggest problem I see that the unchurched have with “Christians” is that most don’t fit the pattern of what an honest sinner inherently knows should be true. A Christian HAS to be different than he/she was before they became a “Christian” or nothing has really happened!

    I am also glad to see your emphasis on baptism as I consider that the true new circumcision for Christians.

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  6. Josh says:

    Great post Chris… The authentic power being expressed and demonstrated will cause an uproar of revival. It is time to stop playing the babysitter and start playing the coach or teacher role. As we as leaders become more authentic, then our people will be more open and more desirous of the authentic… Thanks for putting into words, what so many of us are thinking and dealing with in our churches.

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