To Be Relevant Reach Beyond The Traditional Family

Most men are either married, or want to be. And most men want to have a traditional family. The family is not irrelevant, but if your church is only trying to reach families you may be irrelevant. Here's why.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2012 only 20% of American households consisted of married couples with children under 18 (down dramatically from 40% in 1970). And a full 27% of American households are now single person (up from 17% in 1970). 

While marriage and family are core Christian values, the makeup of our churches is much richer and diverse these days. Yes, traditional nuclear families gravitate to our churches, but so do singles, singles again, empty-nesters, and people with a host of other living arrangements.

And if we're not attracting a diverse crowd, then our church may have created a boundary that Jesus did not intend. Just think about the people to whom Jesus was most attracted. 

To be on the same page with Jesus, our churches must offer shelter not only for traditional families, but also for people with broken wings. That includes people who are shattered by divorce, single parents, poor or working poor, homeless, battle same-sex attraction, alcoholics, addicts, former inmates, those depressed because they have too much, or for any other reason lack a sense of meaning and purpose and, therefore, need the hope of the gospel of Jesus.

If we are not drawn to the kinds of people Jesus was drawn to, how can we be relevant? There is no room for a church that gives off the vibe, "only successful traditional families welcome here." Traditional families should feel welcome, but so should everyone else. Especially since that's the world we live in now. 

Until every church disciples every man...

Pat