Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them - eBook  -     By: Thom S. Rainer
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Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them - eBook

Zondervan / 2009 / ePub

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The seeker-sensitive movement isn't working. Even Bill Hybels admits the method of gearing church toward non-Christians is a mistake. After years of effort, thousands of hours of research and millions of dollars committed to streamlining the 'church experience' to where it will be palatable to sinners, it seems like the biblical method is still the best. Thom Rainer knows this more exactly than many others, and he does the math for you in divulging Surprising Insights From the Unchurched and Proven Ways to Reach Them.
With dozens of charts and graphs based on research gleaned from over 800 pastors, formerly unchurched, and 'transfer churched' (church-goers self-identifying as Christians who have moved from one church to another), Rainer details influences, patterns and trends within the church. By examining the facts and figures in the light of Scripture, the biblical model is vindicated, and the major purposes of the church (worship, evangelism, ministry, prayer, fellowship, and discipleship) are put into their proper perspective.
The appendices include blank surveys and questionnaires used to define the conclusions made in the body of the book. The mode of research design and statistical review are included as well.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 9780310834106
ISBN-13: 9780310834106
UPC: 025986834104
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

We’ve read all the hot books on evangelism, we’ve attended scores of seminars—and still we’re not reaching the unchurched. Eighty to ninety percent of churchless Americans will never darken our culturally relevant, seeker-sensitive doors. What are we missing? Maybe we’ve been asking the wrong people. Instead of consulting the unchurched masses, it’s time we heard what the small but important minority who have recently begun attending a church have to say. What made the difference for them? What critical factors helped spark their faith in Jesus and drew them into the community of believers? Thom S. Rainer, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, shares the results and conclusions of his school’s groundbreaking survey of the formerly unchurched. At last, here are proven insights into what evangelistically effective churches are doing right. Flying in the face of much contemporary wisdom, the answers will surprise you. This is truly one of the most valuable resources you can own as a church leader. Filled with charts, graphs, and other visual aids, plus an abundance of true-life accounts, this book explodes common myths about the unchurched. You’ll discover Why pastors and doctrinal preaching are critical The enormous influence of family and relationships Which things matter more than we’d thought, and which matter less What causes visitors to return The traits of unchurched-reaching leaders How to preach effectively to the unchurched How to become a church for the unchurched And much, much more This eye-opening compendium of information includes reproducible appendices that can help you fine-tune or even restructure your church. From one of the nations foremost authorities on evangelism and church growth, here are insights and tools that will change the way you think of and deal with--and win--unchurched men and women who long to connect with God. Photocopyable material includes Unchurched-Reaching Readiness Inventory Church Health Survey

Author Bio

Thom S. Rainer (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. He was founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and, Church Growth at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, The Unexpected Journey, and Breakout Churches.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 10, 2009
    Charlene Williams
    This review was written for .
    This is a GREAT book, and an easy read. I would recommend it to both clergy and lay persons. It has opened my eyes, and I plan to share it with others. We are currently reaching out to the unchurched and are putting more emphasis on evangalism. It is going to be a tremendous help.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 21, 2008
    Keith Hull
    This review was written for .
    A carefully-researched study of why people are attracted to a Church group and what keeps them there. Great insights from the careful surveys are convincing and worthy of study by any leader who seeks to be effective in reaching the unchurched.
  3. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    January 23, 2008
    Mike Mitchell
    This review was written for .
    Pastor Rainer should be commended for approaching the problem with reaching our nation from a new perspective. Rather than simply copying the methods big churches are trying, or surveying the culture to figure out why people dont go to church, Rainers group spent most of their efforts talking to people who moved from unchurched to churched, finding out what prompted them to make that choice. I was encouraged he quoted Dean Kelleys 1972 classic "Why Conservative Churches are Growing." Like Kelley, Rainer discovered that the unchurched wanted to know why we believe what we believe. They want deep doctrine. They want relationships. They expect excellence. In too many old churches and even seeker-sensitive churches, there is nothing there to make the church attractive. He doesnt stop there. The book pulls no punches in describing what the pastor must do and be to reach the unchurched. It gave new clarity why some pastors cant seem to make progress no matter what hot new program they try. Its a good but not a great book, but its easy to read, and the 40 pages if survey questions are almost worth the price of the book by themselves.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 12, 2007
    David Dillon
    This review was written for .
    This is the one book that I will recommend to the leadership of this church for this coming year. (After their personal bible reading.) <br /><br />The review rating on this book puzzled me. Why did it not get a better rating? However, after reading the initial rating from 2004, I could not help but wonder if that individual had truly read the book or only skimmed it. Rainer's Test group was not the "seekers", but those that were found by God. In essence he is delineating the means God used to reach these lost in this context. <br /><br />Sound Doctrine (page 137), Sanctified pastoral leadership (Chapter 8), Hard work in sermon preparation and presentation (page 220, Figure 11.6), and excellence in ministry are contributing factors for these "successful" churches. The one thing that hit me between the eyes was the criteria statement on page 23 and restated elsewhere: it takes 85 members of an average church one year to reach one person for Christ. <br /><br />This book was a challenge to me and I think it would be a good book for anyone in church leadership.
  5. North Syracuse, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 31, 2007
    David Kilpatrick
    North Syracuse, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    This review was written for .
    This book is packed with eye-opening information that we often don't take into account when we reach out to the unchurched. No wonder it is endorsed by so many top evangelicals (click the "review" tab above to read reviews of the book). I feel so badly about the negative (and I believe unfair) review of this book below (from 2004). Paul adjusted his message to his hearers when he went strolling into Athens, Jesus declared His message differently to the Pharisees than he did to the common folk, and again, to his disciples. Ranier is simply providing us with information that helps us approach outreach the way Jesus and Paul did. Like it or not, our message needs to be conveyed in a way that the hearer understands, or our message may not be truly heard or understood. None of this negates God's role in the process. Read Luke 15. The first two parables focus on God's role in salvation, the third emphasizes the individual's role.This book goes a long way to providing information we need to be aware of the mindset of those for whom we are called to be ambassadors for Christ.
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