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The Unchurched Next Door: Understanding Faith Stages as Keys to Sharing Your Faith Paperback – February 24, 2008
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On occaision, we researchers had to endure criticism, scolding, tears, cussing, and other generally nasty behavior, along with some true blessed events, such as hearing people ask, "What must I do to be saved?" Each of us was assigned several states and we each had to "discover" our own interviews. That in itself was an educational effort. Some traveled, others utilized the telephone, while others still demonstrated great creativity in many ways to meet the unchurched. Each of us discovered, personally, the unchurched persons that we interviewed.
Ultimately, as a pastor, I highly commend this work to both the pastor's library and the average church members's library as a reminder of God's Great Commission; to seek and disciple God's lost sheep. It is easy to read, easy to understand, and with dilligence, easy to do!
Thom S. Rainer is a dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a fact that he reminds the reader of on a regular basis throughout the text. Other than that one minor annoyance, the information is extremely valuable to anyone involved in church growth and outreach. I found some of the numbers to be surprising and some pretty much what I expected. Either way, the analysis was consistently insightful. The Unchurched Next Door is a highly recommended book for anyone charged with growing their church and its influence in the surrounding area.
What I learned: The average profile of the unchurced was suprising, as well as the information about each stage of spirtitual receptivity, from the most antagonistic to the most ready to ask Jesus to be the leader and director of their lives.
The Rainer research team has unveiled “faith” stages to help us understand and advance the cause of evangelism and show us how to apply this knowledge in reaching the lost for Christ.
The author presents the research results and divides the unchurched into five categories with definitions, illustrations, examples and explanations of each. He then shares the insights provided by the formerly unchurched and offers ten reasons we have not reached them. He concludes the book by offering suggestions for reaching the unchurched at their particular “faith stage”.
If you are going to obey the great commission this book can be a great help in understanding how to go about it in an effective way. It is full of helpful information and suggestions. We are told to become “fishers of men” and it seems logical to be familiar with the “fish” you are called to catch. This book will help.
Who will benefit?
Every believer will benefit from the research and suggestions found in this book.
How will it benefit?
It will help you understand the thinking and attitudes of the unchurched so you can identify their faith stage and effectively reach out to them with the gospel.
Where does it fit?
In the design development of your discipleship and evangelism ministry.
“We asked Mark why he finally attended a church.
‘Because Chad invited me,’ he responded bluntly.
‘Any other reasons?’ we asked.
‘Nope, just because I was invited.’
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It labels people depending on faith in Christ. It got it's point across, but I don't quite agree with his theory of how to find people and label them in a category that shows how... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Superb research. THe U1-5 concepts will really help in addressing unchurched people the right way. Thank you Tom Rainer!Published 12 months ago by John Grigsby
So true wish everyone could read this book and make a differencePublished 16 months ago by evette molloy
Rainer's research helped me to see the utter reach ability of those who have either checked out of church or have never been a part of a church. Read morePublished 19 months ago by dale
Anyone considering evangelism should read this book. I'm a fan of anything Thom writes. Well organized and important information that I've not seen anywhere else.Published on March 24, 2013 by Brent Heddin