Europe, Canada, Australia, and much of the United States and even South America face post-Christian barriers to people finding faith, and these require relationship and learning to overcome. In a post-Christian context, most people do not really know much about the Bible or the life-giving Way of Jesus, but there still exists an awareness of Christianity (usually this awareness comes only from negative media or bias about Christians). Honestly, it would be easier in some respects to reach a culture with zero awareness of Christianity than have to overcome negative stereotypes left in the wake of dying churches, but post-Christian is where much of the world lives.
In order to see the people of post-Christian cultures become followers of Jesus they must get to know multiple Christians willing to be open about their own struggles of life, while also demonstrating the hope and fruit of the Spirit-filled life (what we’re learning to live by doing the Soul Revolution 60:60 Experiment). When non-Christians encounter Christians who act like they never struggle, have all the answers, and suggest quick-fixes for every problem, they quickly see through the pharisaical pretense and want nothing to do with that form of faith.
But seeing people who try to love, but struggle; who face real setbacks and need encouragement; who get tempted but ask for prayer and support, and who are learning to stay connected to God’s Spirit alongside a loving spiritual community—that’s what the whole world longs for—and that relational momentum draws people to Jesus.
Jesus’ Great Commission tells us to “make disciples” (learners and followers of Jesus) by first helping people identify with the Father, Son, and Spirit through faith and baptism, then helping them “observe” (not just know) all Jesus commanded. But the context is “as you go.” God has you where you are for a reason. Maybe you hate your job, or struggle with the city you’re in, but maybe that would change if you started to ask God, “Who are You drawing to faith around me, and how can I love and serve them as I go?”
Start to think about how you can connect those exploring faith to others in your church Network or small group so they experience relational momentum in the community of faith. Then invite them to learn about the way of Jesus. Usually, it takes people 6-18 months of learning in a relatable environment, like our Inspire service (link to gatewaychurch.com/video) or an Alpha group or Discover small group. We have seen people bring whole groups of their friends along with them as they explore faith. All you need is relational momentum.