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The Unchurched Next Door: Understanding Faith Stages as Keys to Sharing Your Faith [Paperback]

By Thom S. Rainer (Author)
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Item description for The Unchurched Next Door: Understanding Faith Stages as Keys to Sharing Your Faith by Thom S. Rainer...

Written in a conversational style and based on extensive research, this book takes the reader inside the world of the unchurched and reveals how much Christians actually have in common with them. (Church Life)

Publishers Description
In a national survey conducted by author Thom Rainer and his staff, eight out of ten unchurched men and women said they would come to church---if only someone would invite them. When and how is the next big question. Rainer helps you figure out where your neighbors, friends, and coworkers are in their spiritual quest, and how you can know who among the unchurched people in your life are receptive to Christ. In this fascinating book, Rainer identifies five 'faith stages' that represent your running buddy, your sister-in-law, or your hairdresser. 'A discovery we made is that reaching lost and unchurched people is not always best accomplished with some cookie-cutter strategy, ' Rainer writes. 'The unchurched are different in how they respond to the gospel.' How different? You will be amazed at the variables that exist when it comes to how open people are to the Christian message. Open this book, and open your mind and heart to the powerful new possibilities of reaching The Unchurched Next Door

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   270
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.74 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2008
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310286123  
ISBN13  9780310286127  
UPC  025986286125  

Availability  3075 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 17, 2017 06:36.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Thom S. Rainer

Thom S. Rainer Thom S. Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the largest Christian resource companies in the world. Also a respected pastor and researcher, he has written more than twenty books and coauthored the No. 1 best seller Simple Church. Rainer and his wife, Nellie Jo, have three grown sons, several grandchildren, and live in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Evangelism
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Pentecostal
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Charismatic

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Evangelism & Outreach
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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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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