No One Cares About Your Church

Posted by | September 17, 2010 | Church Communications, Principles | 48 Comments

This is Part 3 in the Reworking Church Communications series. Check out: Constraints Are a Blessing and Stop Speaking in Tongues for more!

I’m sorry to say it so harshly but it’s true… no one cares about your church.

Look at recent polls, church attendance, or even watch the news and it’s fairly obvious… people don’t care about the church or what we have to say anymore. We’ve lost credibility for some legitimate reasons. And don’t chalk me up to being a church basher, I passionately care about the church, I’m just saying what’s true and what some of us might not want to admit.

The Church has moved from the center of our Western culture and while some fight to keep it in the public square others of us are realizing the greatest way we can impact culture is by being on the periphery.

Christianity at its core has always been about counter-cultural, so why in the world do we try to be perceived as being relevant by looking just like the culture around us?

We’ve cheapened the Gospel by trying to be accepted at a great cost. The emerging generation can see right through the charade. We’ve created a machine out of what was always meant to be a movement. We’ve organized something that was meant to be organic. We’ve franchised something that was meant to be localized. We’ve put CEOs in the seats of what was meant to be a spiritual office and treated salvation like a commodity. We made an idol out of our methods.

And to try and fix everything we’ve thought marketing it to look like a cheap version of everything else in culture was a good idea.

Here’s two truths: people don’t like the church and people don’t trust advertising. Why use a mechanism people don’t trust to promote something they don’t care about?

I’m not trying to paint a picture of gloom and doom, I am just saying it how it is. I have great hope for the Church and believe that it does matter and believe the church has a great future ahead of it… we’ve just got to make some adjustments.

I think we have a great new opportunity to reintroduce Jesus, the Gospel and the Church to a world and culture that has been weary of what they’ve seen and heard.

The next generation is tired of gimmicks they want something real and authentic. They want to be known. They want community. They want a sense of belonging. They want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. They want to be significant. They want to be a part of the Church they read about in Acts but have only seen poor reflections of in today’s world.

More than anything they want to give themselves to cause that is greater than they are. Why do you think movements like TOMS Shoes, To Write Love on Her Arms, LIVESTRONG, charity: water, the one campaign or any of the big social movements that are out there today exist and have so much popularity?

They are all doing great work and doing tremendous good, yes. But they are telling a compelling story. They are giving people the opportunity to make a difference. They give people the chance to do something that matters. They are sadly, doing the work the church has been neglecting.

When you really care about what people care about things happen.

When churches rally around the needs of their communities and are actually outward focused, truly living for something outside of themselves, that’s when change happens and that is when the church matters in culture.

To truly care about the things that matter to people is to truly live out the Gospel. God is all about people. And what matters to people matters to God.

We’ve been too focused on ourselves, our numbers, our growth, our success, and at the expense of a generation that’s looking for a cause to believe in and give themselves to.

I can’t think of a better cause to give my life to than the cause of the local church and I think while we live in a culture that doesn’t care about church we have an amazing opportunity to redefine what church means and what it means to be a follower of Christ.

When we sing or pray the words break my heart for what breaks Yours, we are really asking God to allow us the opportunity to see the world through His eyes.

We’ll never earn the right to be heard in culture by screaming on street corners or by having a slick ad campaign. We earn the right to be heard by caring about the things that people care about and ultimately the things the move the heart of God.

Stop trying to promote and market your church. It hasn’t been working and it won’t. Stop trying to make people care about something they’ve already decided isn’t worth their time or attention.

Start listening. Start looking around you. Listen to the cries of people in your community and start responding with the love of Christ. See through His eyes. Earn the right to be heard. Be Jesus hands and feet. Do good. Care about what people care about. Be Jesus and the Church to your community.

The Church isn’t an organization or a building, it’s people.

When you truly care about what people care about and prove it, people will care about you and what you have to say.

About Tim Schraeder

Tim Schraeder is obsessed with all things social media. Having worked with some of the world’s largest churches and para-church organizations, he served as an evangelist for social media with a knack for connecting people and spreading ideas that matter. He’s been a consultant and coach as well as a sought-after speaker and author who helped write the book on communication and social media for the church. Today, Tim is passionate to help businesses and organizations connect, engage, and build loyal followers across all forms of social media. He is a die-hard Chicagoan who can be found in any neighborhood coffeeshop that has free wifi.

  • http://twitter.com/timschraeder timschraeder

    No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/persinger persinger

    RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/mediasalt mediasalt

    RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/RamHatter RamHatter

    RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Meaghan Widmer

    I liked this very much, Tim.

  • http://dawnnicolebaldwin.typepad.com/ Dawn Nicole Baldwin

    Great post, Tim. Communication efforts should be more about sharing stories of the people in AND outside the church, revealing the true heart of the church and clearing pathways for people to get involved.

  • http://twitter.com/dawnnicole dawnnicole

    Great post [as always!] RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/DavisSeal DavisSeal

    RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/Letter_T Letter_T

    No One Cares About Your Church http://t.co/Zl0LrjZ via @timschraeder // A good read! #tc

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • benjizimmerman

    "Here’s two truths: people don’t like the church and people don’t trust advertising. Why use a mechanism people don’t trust to promote something they don’t care about?"

    That is a good word, if only about 100,000 churches could grasp that. . .

  • http://twitter.com/AdamLegg AdamLegg

    RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Sarah

    Wow. Love this. Thank you. Reminds me of the book I am reading called the Hole in our Gospel.

  • http://twitter.com/nathanalbert nathanalbert

    No One Cares About Your Church http://t.co/Qb2UGUr via @timschraeder// Love this!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/jdregan jdregan

    “@timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn” //Challenging article, lots to chew on, thanks Tim!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/dannyjbixby dannyjbixby

    No One Cares About Your Church http://t.co/XmLxH1D via @timschraeder // Sobering thoughts about earning the right to be heard

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://dannyjbixby.blogspot.com dannyjbixby

    Excellent.

    Earn the right to be heard.

    Fantastic post.

  • http://twitter.com/kylelreed kylelreed

    This is a great post by @timschraeder No One Cares About Your Church http://t.co/XmLxH1D

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/MatthewdHansen MatthewdHansen

    RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn // Thank You Tim

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/kylelreed kylelreed

    “We’ve cheapened the Gospel by trying to be accepted at a great cost. ” -@timschraeder
    Your thoughts? http://t.co/XmLxH1D

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/anthonystamey anthonystamey

    Everyone should read this: “No One Cares About Your Church” http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com Kyle Reed

    Tim, this is the best post you have written. Very grace filled and yet true. So glad you wrote this.

  • http://twitter.com/Kristinruther Kristinruther

    Great post [as always!] RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn RT @dawnnicole

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/mstephan mstephan

    RT @MatthewdHansen: RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn // Thank You Tim

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • mymind1086

    I feel that the whole church growth movement was done with good intentions. I'm not sure I that it was done selfishly or in a self-centered way. I do think a lot of it was wrong. I feel like evangelicals sacrificed sound doctrine/theology for the sake of increasing church attendance. They turn salvation into a personal, self-fulfilling formula instead of discipleship and growing in a knowledge of God and Christ etc. I think the intentions were to engage the culture and get people in church to hear the Gospel, that's not selfish. But I do think that it can become selfish, like when churches brag about their numbers. Or expecting people to come to church instead of going out to people in the community. Now we have a bunch of selfish, shallow Christians that leave church because they don't like the way the music sounds, no one said "hi" to them or something like that.

    With that being said, I think sound doctrine and theology would lead to greater Christ-likeness and selflessness and living outwardly in church as well as in the community.

  • http://twitter.com/seanpalmer seanpalmer

    From @timschraeder, :No One Cares About Your Church”: http://ow.ly/2FX8S

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/RedwoodChurch RedwoodChurch

    From @timschraeder, :No One Cares About Your Church”: http://ow.ly/2FX62

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Rebecca

    I am the communication director for a medium-sized church in the South. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you're saying, but our church is not moving in this direction. I'm struggling with how to fulfill my role of helping our ministries communicate their message when the messages their "programs" send aren't all that compelling to begin with. Basically, I'm not sure how to do my job well if the foundation is not there.

    • http://dannyjbixby.blogspot.com dannyjbixby

      Rebecca…believe me, I feel you on this one…

      Tell them their programs aren't worth promoting…in a much more grace filled way ;)

      But seriously, you may want to let them know your predicament.

  • http://www.faithlifemedia.blogspot.com Adam Legg

    Agree, probably the best post I have read all year.

    • http://www.timschraeder.com Tim Schraeder

      wow, thanks guys!

  • http://twitter.com/tylerbraun tylerbraun

    RT @kylelreed: “We’ve cheapened the Gospel by trying to be accepted at a great cost. ” -@timschraeder Your thoughts? http://t.co/XmLxH1D

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://www.treybailey.net Trey Bailey

    Wow Tim..that was right on time. I needed to hear that.
    Just finished reading Transformational Church by Thom Rainer and one of his main points was how our heart must break for those around us before we will ever be effective in reaching them. And this reminds me of what John Maxwell always says, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
    Thanks for sharing..

  • http://twitter.com/dustinuga dustinuga

    “We’ve cheapened the Gospel by trying to be accepted at a great cost. ” -@timschraeder Your thoughts? http://t.co/XmLxH1D (via @kylelreed)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Denny Weinman

    great post!
    I'd say more but you said it already.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jcfretts Jeremy Fretts

    Tim, have you read any of Frank Viola's work? I just finished Pagan Christianity. I think in many ways it aligns with your thoughts.

  • http://twitter.com/shawnthornton shawnthornton

    No One Cares About Your Church http://j.mp/b6LPmn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/MatthewdHansen MatthewdHansen

    If you haven’t read this blog by @timschraeder then read it http://bit.ly/arAMUn while you’re at read this one: http://bit.ly/aq89d5

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://www.thechurchofnopeople.com Matt_TCoNP

    Couldn't have said it better, Tim. I've really enjoyed this series!

  • http://twitter.com/andrewhurrell andrewhurrell

    No One Cares About Your Church | TimSchraeder.com http://ow.ly/2GkvZ

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/tmpollard tmpollard

    A lot to think about, reflect on and ponder. RT @timschraeder: No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/arAMUn

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/MegBiallas MegBiallas

    @andypisciotti Do you subscribe to Tim Schraeder’s blog? He’s got good church comm. posts ea. week: http://ow.ly/2GmQy

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/MegBiallas MegBiallas

    No One Cares About Your Church http://t.co/nMc0uge via @timschraeder

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/fagankela fagankela

    No One Cares About Your Church http://bit.ly/aQFTTD // great post by @TimSchraeder

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Marshall Jones Jr.

    "People don’t like the church and people don’t trust advertising. Why use a mechanism people don’t trust to promote something they don’t care about?"

    ^Repeatable. Thank you.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshCahan JoshCahan

    Hmm…”No One Cares About Your Church” http://t.co/p3JYoo5

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/GatheringGtown GatheringGtown

    Wow… RT “@JoshCahan: Hmm…”No One Cares About Your Church” http://t.co/p3JYoo5”

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/whitneydrew whitneydrew

    Wow… RT “@JoshCahan: Hmm…”No One Cares About Your Church” http://t.co/p3JYoo5”

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://www.jeffgreathouse.blogspot.com Jeff Greathouse

    LOVE THIS !!! —— Here’s two truths: people don’t like the church and people don’t trust advertising. Why use a mechanism people don’t trust to promote something they don’t care about?

Ready To Do Some Work? Let's Talk