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.