There Is A Difference Between Reaching And Attracting People

Recently, I have been intrigued with the meaning of words. Do we really use words like they should be used? Do we really know the meaning of the words we use? I have been looking up many words lately to see what they mean and how to use them and I have been surprised with the information I have found.

Saying all this, let me get into today’s topic, Do You Reach or Do You Attract?

I was having a discussion about this topic of reaching or attracting people to your church and what the difference is. I feel like people and churches lower and lessen their standards to bring more people in, to make more people comfortable in their church.

I decided to look up the definitions of the words ‘reach’ and ‘attract’ and I was surprised at what I found. When I looked at these definitions, I was looking for what these words mean when it came to reaching people and attracting people to your church.

Reach means a.) to stretch out, b.) to pick up and draw toward one, c.) encompass, to make an impression on, to communicate with; it also means to strain after something.

Attract means a.) to cause to approach or adhere, b.) to pull to or draw toward oneself or itself, c.) to draw by appeal to natural or excited interest, emotion, or aesthetic sense, entice, it also means cause to come to a place or participate in a venture by offering something of interest, favorable conditions, or opportunities.

After I read these two definitions, I realized that there is a fine line between reaching and attracting people to our churches. We have to be careful in what we do, what we promote, and make sure everything we do is Christ-centered.

I noticed two more words in these definitions that I looked up, encompass and entice:

Encompass means include, comprehend, envelop, to form a circle about, enclose, bring about, accomplish.

Entice means to attract artfully or adroitly or by arousing hope or desire, tempt.

Reaching requires encompassing.

Attracting requires enticing.

So what is really the difference between the two? I have heard it many times, how do we attract people to come to church? Attracting them is the first step to reaching them right?

I believe reaching requires going.

“So that servant came, and shewed his lord these thing. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”

Luke 14:21-23

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all thing whatsoever I have commanded you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:15-16

You see when you reach someone, you bring them in, you encompass them, you teach them, you help them grow. We, as churches, need to get back to reaching people the Bible way. Too often, we are more concerned about the number of people we have in the pews then the number of people we are keeping in the pews.

One of the ways you can know that you reached someone is when they turn around and reach someone else and so on.

Attracting people to your church is different than reaching people and bringing them in. You have to entice them with whatever means to get them in to your church. Promotions are not a bad thing but when they distract from Jesus Christ, then they become wrong.

When I think of attracting people, I think of attractions. It is like going to an amusement park, they have a bunch of different attractions in the park, things that they think will bring people in. It isn’t going to attract everyone but it will attract many for whatever reason. They make the park favorable for the masses.

Has your church become an attraction? Have you changed things in your church to make it more favorable and enticing to people? When I think of change in a church, I think of change in dress standards, music standards, softer messages…all to attract people, to grow your crowd.

If we are truly reaching people according to the Bible, God will fill the church. He will give you the crowd that you desire!

But it is easier to relax the standards than to go out into the highways and hedges and put in work to reach people. It is easier to change a little here and there to make it more enticing to the world than to work at upholding the Word of God and make the church pleasing to God.

Keep working! Keep going! Keep reaching the lost! Don’t compromise and change to make your job easier, do what you are supposed to do and God will give the increase!!


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