CNLP 420: Mark Clark on How to Effectively Reach More People in a Post-Modern, Post-Christian Culture

Mark Clark and Carey Nieuwhof talk about how church leaders can buck the current cultural trends and actually reach more people. Mark talks about what principles transcend time and what strategies need to change to reach more people, and Carey weighs in on where things are heading in the future.

Plus, Carey and Mark give you insight into their new resource, The Art of Better Reaching.

Welcome to Episode 420 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Plus, in this episode’s What I’m Thinking About segment, Carey talks about some of the content that he and Mark cover in The Art Of Better Reaching.

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The Art of Better Reaching

As a church leader, you’re working harder than ever and seeing fewer results. It seems more difficult to reach people than ever, and increasingly it feels like culture is just tuning you out.

You know that new, excited, engaged and contributing people is how churches grow, but what used to work even a few years ago doesn’t seem to be working anymore.

That’s why my good friend, Mark Clark, and I teamed up to create The Art of Better Reaching. It’s a brand new online course that gives your church the lessons, tools and strategies to get people excited, engaged and contributing in 2021 without compromising or watering down God’s message.

If you want:

  • To understand how to reach people in today’s culture
  • Fresh digital and in-person strategies
  • To attract and engage more new guests

Get the course at and secure your spot before June 11th to get best pricing.

Conversation Links

The Art of Better Reaching

The Problem of God by Mark Clark

The Problem of Jesus by Mark Clark

What Happened to Christian Canada? by Mark A. Noll

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Insights From Mark

1. Our culture has become “me-centered,” and if we want to reach it, identity is key

As the West has become more and more post-Christian, self-actualization or chasing “your truth” has become even more important than contributing to societal good as a whole. We, as Christians, know that trying to “be yourself” will ultimately leave you empty, but how do we convey that in a meaningful way?

Mark believes that Tim Keller is absolutely on the right track when he says that if he were to start a church today, he would make identity one of his key talking points. We need to show people that the only way to become secure in their identity is through Jesus.

2. The world will probably be better off without Christendom

One of the things Jesus actively spoke against was “polishing the outside of the cup, but leaving the inside of the cup dirty.” In many ways, today’s culture of Christendom fits that analogy. People act morally and claim to follow God, but look nothing like him on the inside. As Christendom falls, fewer and fewer people will fall into the trap of looking morally good, but not following Jesus.

3. The key to your digital ministry is moving people through a digital engagement funnel

Many churches are successful at getting people to their services online but then don’t do much after. They have hundreds, or thousands of people watching online, but little engagement after.

Inside of The Art Of Better Reaching, Carey outlines a digital engagement funnel that will show you exactly how to take someone who discovers you online, integrate them into your church as a new Christian, and turn them into champions of the gospel who share your stuff online.

Quotes from Episode 420

What's more terrifying than a culture that builds itself out in Christendom, but doesn't actually know Christianity? @markaclark Click To Tweet You can't just do the 'come and see,' you got to do the 'go and be.' @markaclark Click To Tweet Self-actualization versus societal good has become the main priority. @markaclark Click To Tweet Most people are three questions away from their worldview collapsing. Click To Tweet Culture is looking for an alternative to itself, not an echo of itself. Click To Tweet It's better to have 100 missionaries than just one missionary on stage that 100 people bring their friends to. @markaclark Click To Tweet Where is the Christianity growing? China, Latin America, countries in Africa, where sometimes Christianity is not even legal or it's being oppressed, and the leaders have been put in prison. This is where it grows. @markaclark Click To Tweet The face of Christianity today is not white evangelicalism. It's Latin American, it's Asian and it's African. @markaclark Click To Tweet Christianity has moved around because it adapts to the cultures so well, because it's not fitted to a particular cultural expression. It transcends culture. @markaclark Click To Tweet The deepest motivating factor of anyone's life is their own pleasure. @markaclark Click To Tweet When Christianity disappears from the center of culture, other idols come in to replace God. Click To Tweet As leaders, you got to make macro decisions sometimes for the common good. @markaclark Click To Tweet What do you do when you feel like you're losing power? If you're unhealthy, you try to grab it back. Click To Tweet When you get to a certain level of leadership, people stop asking you questions, and you get into relationships where there's no reciprocity. @markaclark Click To Tweet Can you, in an informed way, be able to defend the ideas of Christianity in the marketplace of conversation? @markaclark Click To Tweet Content is great way to get your message out there, but most people are missing it. Click To Tweet America is rapidly becoming post-Christian. Click To Tweet America accelerated its post-Christian trend during the pandemic. Click To Tweet

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Next Episode: Christine Caine

In an emotional conversation, A21 founder and Mother Teresa Memorial Award winner, Christine Caine, talks about the pain of leadership in a highly critical, outrage-driven culture, how it led her to rethink how much longer she wants to lead with her heart fully in it, and why she decided to keep going in leadership despite the struggle.

This is soul fuel for every leader right now.

Subscribe for free now so you won’t miss Episode 421.

CNLP 420: Mark Clark on How to Effectively Reach More People in a Post-Modern, Post-Christian Culture

1 Comment

  1. Gregg Doyle on June 1, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Seth Godin, sent the following out today, and in my opinion, what he has to say regarding this is better than anything I could ever write.

    We rarely do or say something intentionally that surprises us. That’s because we are in intimate contact with the noise in our heads–we spend our days looking in the mirror, listening to our inner voice and defining our point of view. “That’s not the sort of thing I would say or do…”
    We call this internal familiarity our ‘identity.’ If it gets lost (when someone joins a cult, for example), it’s noteworthy and can be tragic.
    If our ideas are equated to our identity, then talking about ideas is very much the act of talking about yourself.
    And thus the tension is created. Our culture and our economy are built on ideas. Many of our society’s ideas get better over time (you don’t go to the barber for bloodletting any longer–it’s what probably killed George Washington) and yet some of them get stuck. Often, we need a generation to step away before an entrenched idea begins to fade, because the people who have been embracing that toxic or outlived idea see it as part of their identity.
    As the media realizes that they can improve profits by narrowcasting ideas to people who embrace them as part of who they are, it gets increasingly difficult to have a constructive conversation about many ideas–because while people are able and sometimes eager to change some of their less personal ideas, we rarely seek to change our identity.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.
    If you’re doing a jigsaw puzzle and a piece you thought fit in a spot where it doesn’t actually fit, that missed fit is viewed as useful information. Go ahead and try the piece in a different spot–that’s not a threat to your identity as a puzzle solver. In fact, your identity as a puzzle solver is tied up in the idea that if the evidence shows a piece didn’t fit, you simply try a new spot, you don’t feel threatened or disrespected.
    The most successful problem solvers are people who have embraced this simple method–your current idea isn’t your identity, it’s simply a step closer to a solution to the problem in front of you.
    One way to define our identity is to fall in love with an idea (often one that was handed to us by a chosen authority). Another is to refuse to believe our identity is embodied in an idea, and instead embrace a method for continually finding and improving our ideas. Seth Godin

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