How The World Sees The Church

How the world sees the church Over the course of the past 20-30 years the perception of Christians and the Christian church has changed drastically from respect and honor to an extremely cynical and apathetic feeling about Christians and the Christian church. Some of the common words/phrases I hear when talking to non-believers about Christians and the church are: hypocrites, judgmental, fake, boring, unloving, unforgiving, snobby, they don’t listen, they’re greedy, you can’t trust them.

The perception that non-believers have of the church is very important when determining how we can help win them to Christ, and when I see or hear these things people say about Christians and the Christian church, I feel alarmed and ponder the possible reasons for such a dramatic shift.


Growing up as a child in the mid 70’s and early 80’s, I was accustomed to seeing members from the church living out their salvation in the daily activities of life. They might not have been perfect, but you had a keen sense of the love they had for others, and their desire to live admirable and godly lives. In my neighborhood many of the families were Christian and the care and concern shown toward others in the community was as if we were all family.

In that era Christians actively pushed for change in communities and in the world around them. Selfish ulterior motives appeared to be minimal, and the desire for the advancement of Christ’s mission in this world seemed genuine.

Fast forward 20 plus years and you hear story after story of church leaders caught up in greed and manipulation. Many churches have become so legalistic, insisting on operating with passed-down traditions that are disturbingly stale and meaningless. You see leaders of mega-churches purposefully conditioning congregations of robots to serve them and their lust for power and fame. Too many Christians and churches have turned their backs on God’s Great Commission for us to love and evangelize to non-believers. Too often when some Christians do reach out, it’s in a condescending manner and not as brethren.

In America we have the leader of this great nation professing Christianity, yet he unnecessarily supports a major initiative that is in direct opposition to God’s will. We hear so many stories of scandal among clergy leaders, while the stories of the Christian church changing the world for the better are becoming minimal. The world has become increasingly cynical, and even apathetic, to Christians because of so many negative situations attached to people who profess to be a follower of Christ.


We know that the enemy roams this earth, seeking to stir up confusion and draw as many as possible away from the salvation that is found in Christ. Just as he is the ‘accuser of the brethren’ before God, his minions in the earth serve as accusers to other people in an effort to dissuade them from God. While we know these facts about the enemy, we must also search ourselves and truthfully evaluate how we live our lives, and impact others as Christ-followers. We must take action, with a revolutionary mindset, to live fully committed and totally surrendered to the will of God, and the mission of Christ.

Jesus set the perfect example of how we are to interact with non-believers. His approach was humble yet impacting… in truth and not as a hypocrite… in love and never condescending. Not only did Jesus have many wise words and life-altering teachings, but the very way in which He lived was THE PERFECT MODEL for how we are to live as His followers, and how we are to reach out to others.

Individually and collectively we must sincerely examine ourselves and how we present ourselves as Christ-followers. There must be an earnest desire and passion to have the heart of Christ, and to see others, and treat others, the way Jesus did (and does). We cannot walk with our chests puffed out, full of ourselves and our own self-righteousness. We should meditate constantly on God’s Word, and pray unceasingly for compassion, understanding, wisdom, and love for others.

The church must be ALIVE, the very way Christ is ALIVE IN US!! When we worship and serve God in spirit and truth, and with vigor, it is absolutely infectious. In that realm, the loving and humble essence of Christ radiates in us, and people literally see and feel the God in us. It becomes something they desperately desire to feel themselves…compelling men and women to Christ. Humbly and full of the love of Christ is how we change the world view. The time is NOW to radically and revolutionarily change the way we love and treat others.

Category: Articles, Outreach

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