Item description for How to Reach Secular People by George G. Hunter...
Overview HOW TO REACH SECULAR PEOPLE How do you communicate the Christian faith to the growing numbers of "secular" people in the western world? Pastors and Sunday school teachers who teach the faith week by week to professing Christians experience their assignment as increasingly difficult; so how do you communicate Christianity's meaning to people who do not darken church doors, who have no church background, who possess no traditional Christian vocabulary, who do not know what we are talking about? The question presses us with greater intensity as we realize that the countries and populations of the western world have become "mission fields" once again. The following pages contain a mere fraction of what we will one day know about effective mission in the western world. But they contain enough insight from communicators, congregations, and converts to help 99 percent of our churches to triple the number of new Christians they help into faith and thereby become contagious movements in their communities.
Publishers Description Offering proven strategies for communicating the gospel to people who are atheistic, agnostic, or "ignostic," the author presents a model of a congregation that can successfully convert and assimilate secular or unchurched people.
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.57" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2001
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN 0687179300 ISBN13 9780687179305
Reviews - What do customers think about How to Reach Secular People?
Valuable - but don't use it as a prescription! May 10, 2001
George G. Hunter III is Dean of the School of Evangelism and World Mission at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and has written such books as "The contagious congregation" and "Leading and managing a growing church". Hunter's stated aim in this book is "to draw together and systematize what is known about effective apostolic ministry to secular people in the West" (p. 18). He combines his own field research with the findings of other "reflective practitioners", a select group of individuals who have both worked at the apostolic task amongst secular people in Western societies and reflected on the process and outcomes in an organised way. Hunter confidently claims that there is sufficient insight contained in his book to help 99 percent of churches to triple the number of people they bring into the Christian faith.
After an introduction in which he outlines the process of secularisation in the West, Hunter goes on to compile a profile of secular people in chapter 1 followed by chapters on themes and strategies for reaching secular people and communication principles and models. The final two chapters outline the kind of Christians and churches respectively that help secular people come to faith. Given that the book is more a compilation of information than a developed argument, the chapter divisions and the extensive use of point form help to organise the data into a somewhat logical and accessible format.
The result is a mine of information, analyses and practical insights, many of which are new and groundbreaking, some of which are not. Almost inevitably though, Hunter is caught between the general and the particular, between limitations of scope and cohesive presentation of data. That his sources are all white, English-speaking males is a limitation Hunter readily acknowledges (p. 17). On the other hand, this cast is sufficiently diverse in time and place to make the attempt to conflate the data into a cohesive portrait appear artificial at times. After all, it is a long way from Soper's soapbox to Schuller's Crystal's Cathedral, from Alan Walker and urban mission to Bill Hybels and seeker services. Approaches which unleash the truly prophetic role of the church sometimes stand alongside those which surrender to the secular world's agenda and values. Many readers will tend to warm to certain "reflective practitioners" and their insights, while downplaying the contributions of others. Moreover, Hunter himself at times presents his Wesleyan theology almost as if it was a common factor.
As is the fate of all such books, "How to reach secular people" has an air of datedness about it. It was published nearly a decade ago and Hunter's sources are often considerably older. More reflection will have to be done on the impact of postmodernism and the New Age in Western society. This book is intensely practical and virtually prescriptive in format but will probably not be entirely successful if applied in a formulaic way. Rather, if it is used to help churches understand the people around them better, to infect Christians with the genuine heart for reaching secular people that Hunter clearly has, and to inspire and motivate congregations to become reflective practitioners themselves and try different things in outreach without reducing the "apostolic task" to technique and management, it will be a successful and valuable book.
Profiles secular people very well Jul 24, 1999
Hunter effectively pinpoints and labels the different personality catorgories that "secular people" typically fall into. He then explains where their concerns with the Christian church originated. I was ultimately unsatisfied with his sections that profiled successful churchs. Those sections for the most part seemed to be common sense and lacking in any new important insights. Though something could be said for putting it down on paper. Worthwhile for anyone in ministry.