Århus Café Church has been growing steadily since our beginnings 6-7 years ago. People I meet often ask me how the church is going, and I tell them my version of the story: things are going GREAT; we’ve just had our first baptism, we finally have an employed ‘pastor’ who I’m sure will be the perfect match, people are committed, and attendance is still growing. But then comes another question: how many of these people are “from the outside”? And I usually cringe at the question. For even though it is asked by supporters and critics alike, it unsubtly reveals an understanding that if we don’t attract the really lost (the heathens, if you will), then what is the point? This is missing the point.
Of course we want to grow as a church and help people everywhere to meet Jesus and experience his love. People who have never done so deserve the chance. And we do, in fact, work with a target group, as most (smaller, at least) churches should. I’m not talking about proselytizing, either – that was the way of a now bygone era.
The point is that defining Christians, or any people, as “in or out” is flawed, at best, or downright rude. Whether you have a previous Christian connection is not necessarily the deciding factor in your journey with Jesus right now. Sowing the seeds and harvesting was never reserved for the same person or church. People are meeting God in Århus Café Church. They may have Christian parents, or they may not. We don’t ask. We just try to be a force of good in this city and lead people to become followers of Christ.
Doing church should not be about counting sheep – even less about discerning between black and white sheep.