One of my favorite blogs 'Seth Godin's Blog' has written a post 'Think like me agree with me", while it is fundamentally a marketing blog there are numerous implications for Christians....
When you're trying to sell your idea, it's natural to assume that the people you're selling to think the way you do. If you can only show them the facts and stories that led you to believe what you believe, then of course they'll end up where you are... believing
The problem, of course, is that people don't always think like you.
Yep this is the same as Christians who do evangelism or mission. They don't realize that the world has moved on to looking at all things in a pluralistic manner including spirituality.
Seth goes on to give two work a rounds, the first is::
The challenge doesn't lie in getting them to know what you know. It won't help. The challenge lies in helping them see your idea through their lens, not yours. If you study the way religions and political movements spread, you can see that this is exactly how it works. Marketers of successful ideas rarely market the facts. Instead, they market stories that match the worldview of the people being marketed to.This is a hard option because it involves incarnational mission. Really understanding who you are reaching, through their eyes.
And the second::
[There's an alternative, one that you might want to think hard about: perhaps you should only market your idea to people who already think the way you do. After all, you're not running for president, you don't need a majority. Screen people by their behavior (what they read, what they buy, how they act) and only tell your story to the people who will embrace it. That's a lot easier to do that than it's ever been before.]
I think this is where Christianity is currently stuck. Its easier to market your church and brand of Christianity to Christians. It is easier to sell to existing Christians than do the hard work converting new followers in a pluralistic society. What happens is sheep stealing. The majority of church growth comes from existing churches.