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By Blessed Economist
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Church Strategy (1) Target Population

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From the perspective of the gospel, our target population can be thought of as three groups.

Serious Christians
The hard core of serious Christians is probably about 5 percent of the population.

Serious Christians have the following characteristics.

  • They are serious about serving God
  • They attend church regularly.
  • Their numbers are shrinking rapidly
  • This group is aging rapidly.
  • The future of the church depends on this group.

Christian Memory
The second group have a Christian memory, but do not participate in the church. They might be a twenty percent of the population.

The Christian memory group have the following characteristics.

  • They may have gone to church or sunday school when they were young.
  • Their mothers were active in the church.
  • Their fathers went occasionally
  • They can sing How Great Thou Art at a funeral
  • They do not think about it much, but sort of believe there is a in God
  • When things go wrong they pray,
  • They do not know how to pray, so it is usually a desperate cry for help.
  • When things go well they believe someone was watching out for them.
  • They love spam messages about miracles and prayer.
  • They forward on emails about angels.
  • This group is getting older and is probably shrinking.
  • Perhaps they should be called the “Church Memory” group, because many have a quite distorted understanding of Jesus and the gospel.

Modern World
The third group belongs in the modern world. In parts of America this group is getting up toward 60 percent of the population. In New Zealand, they could be 80 percent.

The Modern World Group has the following characteristics.

  • This group never goes to church, except for funerals and weddings, and they feel about as comfortable as a Christian would feel in a mosque or masonic lodge.
  • They do not call themselves atheists, because they do not define themselves in terms of an attitude to God.
  • The possibility of a Christian God just never occurs to them. The idea is simply not on the radar.
  • They never think about God, even in a crisis.
  • They never pray, except to say “Oh God!”
  • When things go wrong, they go to the doctor or the gym.
  • They hate religion, because they believe that it causes most of the problems in the world. Like John Lennon, they would love a world with no religion.
  • These people know a few Christians at work or at the gym, but they do not particularly like them. Christians seem a bit odd. They tolerate Christians, but they would not see them as role models or want them as friends.
  • This group is quite spiritual, but they live in a complex spiritual world with a whole bunch of spiritual ideas and realities all mixed up together.


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