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From the Boardroom to the Pew. Three Reasons Professionals Aren’t Drawn to the Church

I’ve been involved with various Christian faith communities and churches for over 20 years. In my years of interacting with multiple churches I have often been turned off by the preaching and content of the sermons articulated by many of the ministers I have encountered. During a recent conversation with an entrepreneur and colleague, it was stated that in his experience with the Christian church and their worship services he often left the services feeling as though he received nothing that helped him in the development of his spiritual life. What many pastors don’t realize is that entrepreneurs are fully engaged in the development of their business and reach spaces in that development where they believe divine intervention and counsel is needed. The challenge many face in this space is the ability to connect with a pastor or spiritual leader who can give them sound biblical counsel with an understanding of what they’re up against as an entrepreneur. As an experienced entrepreneur and pastor of over 15 years in both areas, I know all too well the challenges facing an entrepreneur. I know that I reached times in my business where spiritual support and counsel was vital to my growing to the next level. When I faced difficult times as an entrepreneur, I felt as though I needed to draw on my spiritual support system (the church) for what I needed to have clarity and insight. I often left the worship services I attended hugely disappointed and discouraged. There were times where I would make appointments with my pastor in search of godly wisdom and left more discouraged afterward. Hearing the experiences of many entrepreneurs and professionals over the years guided me in the development of my approach to providing spiritual support to these influencers. In this blog, I want to share a few of the top reasons why executives aren’t drawn to the church:

Lack of Intellectual Engagement

Professional individuals are primarily thinkers and appreciate intellectually engaging topics and teachings. I have talked with many who discouraged from attending a worship service because based on the sermon they have determined that the God we speak of is more interested in highly emotional followers who check their intellect at the door. In many of my conversations with these individuals, I am left to help them see the value God places on our intelligence and the development of it, as well as, how it can be offered as an act of worship. We need to expand our teaching and understanding of the value God places in His word on our intellect.

Long Worship Services

In conversing with many professionals, they share their frustration with extended hours in a worship experience. Certain denominations and circles place a high emphasis on services that go on for hours. Long hours in worship services has been a point of concern for many professionals simply because some don’t place a high value on their spiritual development. There are others who do put a high value on their spiritual life but don’t feel engaged enough to be in a church service for extended hours. Pastors, have to understand that if they believe God has called them to reach people in the marketplace, then they will have to learn how to tailor their service to meet the needs of this demographic. As a Pastor, I am convinced that my calling is to minister to professionals, so I have structured our worship experience to give them what they need in a 60-90min complete worship experience.

Irrelevant Sermons

The duality of my calling has afforded me the opportunity to be among both professionals and preachers. Many professionals that I’ve conversed with feel isolated and disconnected from the Christian faith community just by the subculture language we have created. The language barrier is an issue that has discouraged many professionals from working to connect. There are times when our sermons are too long, as well as, filled with language that professionals don’t understand nor do they relate to. Jesus provides us with clear examples throughout his life and ministry of how to connect with people no matter what their profession may be. Jesus constantly found common ground with his listener by using examples, terminology, and illustrations that fit the persons’ everyday life and he did that by speaking in parables. It is essential that pastors work to develop sermons, social media posts, and media content that adds value and insight to their audience. When pastors decide that sensationalism is more important than substance they often lose the professional.

The engagement of entrepreneurs, executives, intrapreneurs, and professionals can be accomplished when we eliminate the mysticism surrounding the Christian faith and its teachings. I believe we scare this group off by the way we speak and interact with them. Besides, there must be an intentional attempt to build relationships and develop a culture where the professional can receive and be challenged spiritually just like nonprofessionals.

Nathan J. Culver

Author Nathan J. Culver

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