Visitors Expect to Hear the Bible

By Rick Warren

Son of GodMaking your Christmas worship services comfortable and understandable for the unchurched doesn’t mean changing your theology. It means changing the environment of the service – such as changing the way you greet visitors, the style of music you use, the Bible translation you preach from, and the kind of announcements you make in the service.

The message is not always comfortable. In fact, sometimes God’s truth is very uncomfortable! Still we must teach “the whole counsel of God.” Being sensitive to the unchurched does not limit what you say but it will affect how you say it.

My experience is that the unchurched are not asking for a watered-down message. They expect to hear the Bible when they come to church. They just want to hear how it relates to their lives.

They can handle a clear, biblical message when it is delivered in terms they understand and in a tone that shows you respect and care about them. They are looking for solutions this Christmas, not a scolding.

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.