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Principles for working with people who are not-yet-believers

Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 in blog links | 6 comments

Principles for working with people who are not-yet-believers

Felicity at “Simply Church” has been writing some very helpful articles concerning working with people to start churches. For example, in two posts she discusses several (9) principles for working with “not-yet-believers”: “4 principles for working with not-yet-believers” and “5 more principles for working with not-yet-believers.”

Her suggestions are contrary to what we typically see called “church planting” today in which the focus is on the initial leadership and organization. For Felicity, the focus is on the work that God is already doing among these “not-yet-believers” and trusting God to continue to work in and through these people.

For example, here is a summary of the “4 principles” from the first post above (there are more details in the post itself):

  1. God is already at work in the lives of not-yet-believers and they are happy to tell you about it.
  2. Not-yet-believers are happy to study the Scriptures.
  3. When we invite someone to come to our church (simple/organic church or traditional church) we extract them from their own environment and bring them into our Christian environment.
  4. Meals are great for breaking the ice and sharing what is going on in people’s lives.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the principles that Felicity shares (the 4 above and the 5 from the other post). What concerns to you have about her principles? What benefits do you see in working from these principles?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-14-2011


    In my early days as a pastor I was in a town which was an amazing mix of nations and very mixed farming from irrigated fruit and rice growing to sheep cattle and wheat. I learned it was wise, when visiting folk, to dress in old work clothes and boots, to “sit where they sat”,helping with whatever was happening, becoming rather messy, at times.

    That opened more doors than anything else could.

  2. 9-14-2011

    Aussie John,

    If you haven’t read Felicity’s posts about the different ways that God has used them to start churches, you should. She recently finished a series about starting a church around New Agers, and she’s currently in the middle of a series about starting a church in a low-income projects.


  3. 9-15-2011


    No. I hadn’t read that blog,but I will now.

  4. 9-15-2011

    Aussie John,

    Awesome! I’d love to hear what you think about her stories and posts.


  5. 9-16-2011


    I would think that most of what is shared would fit with what we have done in years gone by.

    One mistake she mentions,that we made, is that of taking more mature Christians on visits to assumed non-believers. They are often not as mature as was presumed; they are often far too quick to “correct” those being spoken too, and I suspect “proud” of their own “expertise”.
    The results can be painful!

    I thoroughly agree with Felicity’s comment,”How do you spell fellowship? The answer is F-O-O-D!”

    The whole series is a goldmine for those who want to serve in their community! Makes me very nostalgic.

  6. 9-17-2011

    Aussie John,

    That part about taking mature Christians was interesting for me as well. I’ve been thinking alot about that, both the pros and cons.

    I also agree about food. 🙂