Communicate to "Nones"

5 ways to communicate to the “Nones” who aren’t listening

Engaging with unchurched individuals (the “Nones”) who aren’t actively seeking a church requires a careful and thoughtful approach. According to the latest Pew Research (Summer, 2023), the “Nones” are growing. In fact, 5-7% of Americans in the 1980s have swelled to 28% in 2023. As believers, we need to decide, do we try to reach this unchurched group who are “characterized as morally directionless”, or shake our heads and not even attempt the challenge. Remember, they’re not all the same, but they all need Jesus. 

Here are some strategies to help effectively communicate to the “Nones” in your local community who may not be actively seeking a religious connection:

1. Community-Centered Communication

Why it matters: People are often more receptive to messages that address their immediate needs or interests. So, for the “Nones”, focus on communicating how your church contributes positively to the community (them) rather than emphasizing religious aspects. Get their attention, then love them to Jesus.

How to do it: Highlight community events, outreach programs, and ministries that benefit your local community. Emphasize the practical ways your church is positively impacting the area, such as through charity work, support services, or events that bring people together. As the Pew report notes, they probably won’t be the first to volunteer though. But they’re more than likely seeking community.

2. Storytelling with Purpose

Why it matters: Stories have the power to connect on a personal level. Share narratives that resonate with the everyday experiences of the unchurched, emphasizing the positive transformations within your church community. Remember, about half the “Nones” consider themselves spiritual, so they believe people can change based on something inward. 

How to do it: Use testimonials and personal stories to showcase the real-life impact your church has had on an individual’s spirituality. Focus on stories of personal growth, community support, and the tangible benefits of being part of your church, steering clear of overly religious language in the beginning.

3. Social Media Engagement

Why it matters: Many unchurched individuals are active on social media. Utilize these platforms to create a digital presence that aligns with the values and interests of your community, fostering a connection that can lead to a Gospel-centered conversation. 

How to do it: Share visually appealing and shareable content showcasing your church’s activities, events, and contributions to the community. Encourage your members to share the experiences, creating a digital word-of-mouth effect. You may even want to consider TikTok videos to help communicate to the “Nones”. Think about how your church can become highly practical and entertaining to them!

4. Low-Pressure Invitations

Why it matters: Traditional invitations to church services may be intimidating for the “Nones”. Perhaps that is why 90% of them seldom attend a church service. Instead, extend low-pressure invitations to events that are easy to attend, needed by them, and don’t carry the expectation of religious commitment.

How to do it: Host community gatherings, workshops, or social events that cater to a wide audience. Position these events as opportunities for connection (community), learning, or fun without emphasizing the religious aspect. Think how the church can coordinate and facilitate what they already are doing (i.e. Pickleball, game nights, eating, etc.). Use this time to love them and start sharing the Gospel.

5. Demonstrate Relevance to their Daily Life 

Why it matters: 81% of “Nones” see religion as irrelevant to their daily lives. Showcase how your church addresses relevant issues, provides practical guidance, and supports people in their day-to-day issues. 

How to do it: Incorporate practical teachings that they would be interested in, into your communication. Address common life struggles, such as stress, anxiety, relationships, and personal growth. The “Nones” may even be open to a cooking class by a Grandmother from your church. Emphasize how your church is a resource for navigating life’s challenges and building a supportive community. They don’t know it yet, but you can help them discover how Jesus does that to perfection.

In essence, the key is to meet people where they are and communicate to the “Nones” in a way that resonates with their interests and needs. It’s not going to be easy. By emphasizing community contributions, sharing relatable stories, leveraging social media, extending inclusive invitations, and demonstrating relevance to daily life, your church can build bridges with the “Nones” who may not be actively seeking a religious connection. Then pray that the Holy Spirit will open their hearts so your relationship and engagement can lead to the Gospel message. They need Jesus.

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