Monday, November 19, 2007
The Unchurched Next Door
I recently finished reading The Unchurched Next Door by Thom Rainer. I had previously read his books Surprising Insights from the Unchurched and Simple Church, and I found his research to be very illuminating in those books. The same is true of this book.
For this project, Rainer had a team of interviewers conduct extensive one-on-one surveys with unchurched Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds. Rainer classifies them into five categories of unchurched. These are classified on the "Rainer scale" from a U5 (highly resistant and antogonistic to the gospel) to a U1 (high receptive to the gospel.) His researchers found that only 5% of Americans were U5's (antogonistic), and that among the remaining 95% of the unchurched, the majority would likely come to church if somebody they knew invited them and offered to go with them into the building. Here was the most interesting statistic in the book-- Answers to the question, would you be likely to go to church if invited:
U5 (antogonistic): 0% very likely, 20% somewhat likely, for a total of 20%
U4 (resistant but not antagonistic): 17% very likely, 45% somewhat likely, for a total of 62%
U3 (neutral): 23% very likely, 63% somewhat likely, for a total of 86%
U2 (receptive): 46% very likely, 51% somewhat likely, for a total of 97%
U1 (highly receptive): 52% very likely, 45% somewhat likely, for a total of 97%
Over and over again, Rainer pleads in this book for Christians to invite their friends to church. His plea needs to be heard.