Why Lost People Won’t Listen to Christians

I’m writing an article for On Mission Magazine about Why Lost People Won’t Listen to Christians and I need your help. The article is about the current culture and how as Christians we must understand where non-Christians are coming from.

Two questions: Why won’t lost people listen to Christians? How can Christians tell God’s story in a way that will make the most impact in today’s culture?

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5 Responses to “Why Lost People Won’t Listen to Christians”

  1. Margaret Feinberg Says:

    Great questions! I think there’s a sense that people who don’t know Jesus need to know that there loved and cared for and appreciated as people before they’ll listen to what we say. In other words, why should I want to listen to you… and your thoughts..if you don’t really care about me or you only care about my soul (which often feels like you’re just trying make yourself feel better). So in the end, I think living out what we believe–failures and flubs and all (which I’ve had a lot of lately)–opens the door to real conversation. Also, I’ve never been able to spend very much time with someone before they eventually ask about faith, belief, Christianity..et. If you love, it seems like doors open like crazy to not just be on mission but to fulfill the commission.

  2. jaybird Says:

    The question we have to answer with both our lives and our words in “why should anyone listen?” The reality is people do listen when their lives have been invested in. Think about it why did Zacchaeus listen to Jesus and not all of the other religious leaders. The answer Jesus picked him out and invested in his life over lunch. Jesus tell Zacchaeus that he is going to his house today. Jesus was willing to get on his turf. When we are willing to invest in the lives of people no matter where they are at, the question of “why won’t lost people listen to Christians” never arises. When we approach someone on the outside with a “you listen to me first menatlity” why should they!

    I think believers can tell God’s story best, when our story( the story of our lives) tell’s God’s story. It is not a question of how do we make God’s story work for todays culture, it is a question of how God’s story has changed and shaped our story!

  3. charles allo Says:

    Why don’t Lost People listen to the Message of Christians? I think the answer can be found by looking at how lost people viewed Christians when the term first arose. Remember that the word “Christian” was originally a label used by pagans to identify the people who claimed to be followers of Christ. Throughout the ages, this labeling has occurred. In light of this thought today, my first question is: “What is our label?” Are we known as Christians, or seen as “Church-ians,” or “Commandment-ians.” I mean, are we seen as following the person of Christ? Or, are we seen as people who merely join a church or merely follow some lame commandment. Come on now, which have you: Relationship or Ritual? If ritual sums us up, then aren’t we talking about any god instead of the One True God, who Himself talked more about relationship than obedience? Well, these questions point me to believe that lost people stop listening to Christians when they no longer see us as being identified with the label of reflecting Christ that we claim. We lose the message we are sharing. It’s like we are trying too hard to be different. Or we are either trying too hard to be like them. And as everyone knows, trying too hard rarely succeeds in anything. But whichever the case, we don’t really show that we are with Him. So to be blunt, I think that Christians have lost the ability to be “real” with both the Gospel and with people. In other words, we shirk one aim while in pursuit of the other. We, as Christians, have become lost ourselves in two ways. First, we have lost relational ability with people when we work to reinforce our unique identity as Christians more than working to share our new identity in Christ with others. This is important as reinforcement of one held belief leads to separation from another held belief. Have you ever told someone your stance on abortion, or the death penalty, or war? You’ll soon see separation from them as they listen to you while keeping their own view in sight. You see, as we focus on ourselves more and others less, we stop being normal people who care, love, serve, and enjoy life. We become salesmen for Christ. We will have more luck sticking a “Coca-Christ” logo on my back and guessing the magical ingredient inside than being going around talking out of both sides of our mouths. For we walk out of fear of becoming tainted by these “people from the netherworld,” and immediately become prepared with an agenda. Look at any evangelistic track nowadays. They are great and all, but they also are filled with a strategy and plan to accomplish the mission. All I am saying that without feeling and relationship, that mission becomes offensive. And as we all know, when we become offensive, the only reaction to us can be an defensive one. Ever had a stranger in a suit with a briefcase come to your front door selling cheap cologne knock-offs? What do you do? You tell them politely, “no thanks” and shut the door. Same with the Christian approach. We come uninvited with a slogan and agenda and are turned away wondering why no one wants to buy our wares. We have ceased to share who we are by selling what we believe. However, the imbalance doesn’t end with selfish identity struggles. The other way we become lost is to be so much in the world that we become just like it. Thereby, becoming disconnected to the Message we wish to share. We have listened to too much of a diluted Gospel mixed in with worldly thought that our Message becomes the “Okay News” instead of staying “Good.” And by worldly, I don’t mean the stereotypical image of us watching Cinemax after Dark while jamming to Metallica and popping Vicadin all at the same time. I mean any action that takes our hearts off of the Message we share. Things such as isolation, loneliness, lust, and violence are all emotional ties that when left alone, lead to emptiness. Thus, my second question: “How can we share a Message that we don’t believe or exhibit?” Remember that to share something means to possess it first. But whichever way you have it, be it too attached to the things of God or the things of man, many Christians have disowned the person of Christ and have become lost themselves. So when a lost person tries to lead another lost person to safety, I think Christ put it best Himself when He said, “they fall into a ditch.” And hence our struggle. We become the blind leading the blind. And that is what a seeing person cannot and will not tolerate.

  4. J. Scott Says:

    Bryan,

    I did a short post on this not too long ago about why our communication sucks and turns off those outside the church. It’s short and to the point. I didn’t elaborate a whole lot, but you might enjoy it.

  5. J. Scott Says:

    Bryan, sorry… forgot the link from my last comment.

    Here it is:

    http://www.thewayithink.com/?p=21

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