This is the unhappy story of unchurched Harry and Mary.
Harry and Mary came into our lives as a useful metaphor for those we would seek to evangelize. Useful for a while, that is.
The law of unintended consequences jumped in and made a mess of things. Churched vs unchurched eventually supplanted actual talking to people about Jesus. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Turns out Harry and Mary look like our cousins, whoever we are.
If you’re white, so are they. Black people make the same mistake as do Hispanics and Asians. If you planted a church in the last couple of decades, they were in their late 20s or early 30s with a couple of young kids in tow.
The biggest problem with Harry and Mary is that they took our eyes off the harvest.
When Jesus spoke of a ripe, unharvested field, he wasn’t only talking to twelve guys from Israel. The inference is that all of God’s creation need a relationship with him. Not only those people who make you feel the most comfortable (or promise to help you meet the budget).
The harvest truly is ripe but often unnoticed.
The real Harry and Mary are not only unchurched but untouched by our message. They occupy thousands of different ethne. Each people group or “affinity group” is essential to their creator but often overlooked by us.
Who in your circles looks different from you? Values things you don’t? Who would argue with you over what you hold dear? These are people Jesus died for.
So how do we go about reaching all the unreached Harrys and Marys, not just the figments of our imaginations? The answer is pretty simple. We develop friendship tracks into their lives. For me, it starts with the lead pastor personally discipling those people who others view as “fringe members.” If you get it, others will follow. If you make disciples of people who look, think and speak a little differently than you, they will disciple others more like them.
Pretty simple, huh? All you need to do is do what Jesus commanded!
Thoughts, comments, arguments? All are welcome. Just hit the comments box below (it’s a way to say “Thank you” for the time I put into writing this stuff).