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.
Weve read all the hot books on evangelism, weve attended scores of seminarsand still were 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 weve been asking the wrong people. Instead of consulting the unchurched masses, its 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 schools 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. Youll discover Why pastors and doctrinal preaching are critical The enormous influence of family and relationships Which things matter more than wed 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
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.