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Unchurched Next Door [Hardcover]

By Thom Rainer (Author)
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Item description for Unchurched Next Door by Thom Rainer...

Effective evangelism through insightful understanding of individual differences People who don't attend church are not aliens_they are our neighbors. Many Christians assume that all unchurched persons are alike and hostile to the gospel. But extensive research by the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth reveals that unchurched people fall into five different "faith stages" ranging from antagonistic (U5) to ready to accept Christ (U1). What's more, the most effective witnessing approach differs depending on which faith stage a person is in. The exciting "good news" about personal evangelism is that we can vastly improve our results by first determining the "faith stage" of our neighbor, coworker, or friend, and then approaching them in a manner that corresponds to their particular need or state of mind. The Unchurched Next Door is written in a conversational style that includes dozens of stories and remarks from representative unchurched individuals. It takes you inside the world of the unchurched, helps you understand common objections to belief, and reveals what you_as the neighbor next door_have in common with the unchurched. No "faith stage" is unreachable. In fact, fully 80 percent of unchurched people indicated they would attend church if they were invited. The Unchurched Next Door teaches how to recognize a person's faith stage and then approach them with an effective invitation.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.31" Width: 6.27" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   1.105 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2003
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310248604  
ISBN13  9780310248606  
UPC  025986248604  

Availability  0 units.

More About Thom Rainer

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Thom S. Rainer, Ph.D., is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world. He has consulted with more than five hundred churches, served as pastor in four churches and interim pastor in seven churches, spoken in hundreds of venues, and authored sixteen previous books. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Evangelism & Outreach

Reviews - What do customers think about Unchurched Next Door?

Plea to invite the unchurched  Nov 19, 2007
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.
The Unchurched Next Door: Understanding Faith Stages as Keys to Sharing Your Faith  Jul 23, 2007
Extremely helpful to read before going on mission doing surveys and witnessing door to door. Helped to understand where people are in the process of receiving a witness about Jesus Christ, and to not feel discouraged when they "rejected" our offer to hear the gospel. It helped us know how to pray for certain people knowing that they are either resistant, neutral, seeker, or just waiting to hear the gospel.
Are we bringing people to church or Jesus?  Mar 22, 2007
I think we need to stay mindful here that as we share Christ with those who don't know Him, they are real people, much of whom are very open to God and His Word, but are disillusioned with the church. Let us as His ambassadors not get mixed up into thinking we need to invite them to church (which is a gathering of believers), and rather invite them into our home, build a relationship and 'show' Jesus to's not all about church growth; it's about growing the Kingdom of God through growing disciples!!!
Generally Helpful  Nov 13, 2006
This book provides a helpful introduction to near-neighbor evangelism which is lacking among many Christians, myself included. The main points are that not all unchurched people are at the same place on their faith journey, and that many will come to church if they are invited, which unfortunately seldom happens.

I think a couple of weaknessesshould be noted. There seems to be an underlying assumption that there is a clear path between someone coming to church and their becoming a disciple of Jesus. Rainer doesn't really help us see what that path is. The second weakness is that conversion is seen as occuring when someone pray's "the sinners prayer," "invites Jesus into their hearts," or "accepts Jesus as their personal Savior." Biblical conversion is more complex.
Christians - Open Your Mouths and Invite!  May 18, 2005
Rainer did a great research on the unchurched, and in the process, developed a grading on where to place people, i.e. the Rainer Scale of U5 to U1 where U5 are the most resistant and U1 the most receptive. Rainer goes beyond what people are resistant about to show that, often times, there is history and past experiences that give people a certain perception. He also offers some approaches towards reaching and building relationships with the different categories of people.

One of the important results of the study is that most people whould go to church if they were invited. Some young Christians (those who just had a relationship with Jesus) wondered why their Christian colleges, friends and neighbors never opened their mouths to invite them if having a personal relationship with Jesus is a matter of life and death, heaven or hell. People tend to feel intimidated walking into a church, and so by inviting friends there, and helping them to know their way and meet people, greatly helps. Also, some Christians have bad experiences with U5s (which constitute only about 5%) and gets turned off from inviting the unchurched or in sharing the gospel. Christians need to look to the other 95% and get over their bad experiences.

Even as culture and society changes, the results in the future may change from what is presented in this book, but as for now, this research shows that there is a window of opportunity to invite the unchurched to church and leading them to a personal relationship with Jesus.

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