TULSA, Okla. — You gotta have a nice sign. You just…
‘Our mission was very simple at one time: convert the lost. And ‘the lost’ was everybody who’s not Church of Christ,” said Bobby Green, minister for the Charleston Metropolitan Church of Christ in South Carolina. “Now we’re more grace-oriented. We’re not quite sure who’s in and who’s out.”
Green, who has preached for 20 years, grew up in “a very legalistic side of the church,” he said. His views have since moderated, added Green, who studied at Harding School of Theology in Memphis, Tenn., before earning a Master of Divinity degree from Amridge University in Montgomery, Ala.
The uncertainty he senses in churches creates “good and bad fear,” he said. While Churches of Christ tend to be less legalistic than in days past, “we’re so afraid of being judgmental that we err on the side of caution, concerned about running someone off. We’re not evangelistically aggressive, and I think we should be.”
But where should church members focus their evangelism? That’s a question many Churches of Christ seem to be asking, Green said.
“Our focus point is now Jesus Christ, which it should have been all along, so why am I trying to convert my Baptist friend? It’s our mission to focus on the unchurched.”
Churches of Christ may be divided on whether or not to evangelize those in denominational churches, he said, but when it comes to reaching the growing number of Americans who identify as “none” when it comes to religion, “we’re unanimous.”
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