Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Unchurched Next Door - Thom S. Rainer
When Pastor Kong and Pastor Paul Scanlon, two of the wisest people around, read, referenced to and recommended this book in their sermons, you know it's a good book. So I picked this book up at the Jurong West outlet of Attributes bookstore, the last copy on the shelf when I saw it.
And what an awesome read it was. Rainer, a dean at a seminary, did a research project on 300 North Americans over a span of 3 years and this book was the result.
In the book, with the help of his research assistants, he classified the unchurched into 5 categories, ranging from U1, U2, U3, U4 to U5, with decreasing levels of receptivity to the gospel. It helps Christians better understand that there are different groups of unchurched people out there and not group them under one single homogenous group.
In this way, Christians can better tailor their evangelical efforts to the different levels of receptivity. They'll meet with a greater success in their efforts once they know what their purpose is to. Whether it is to up a person's level form U5 to U4, or to simply lead a seeking U1 to Jesus by inviting him/her to church.
Even though it was a huge research project, Rainer avoids overloading us with figures and statistics. Instead, he presents his results in a clear and relevant manner, and the 10 chapters was a breeze to read. I personally was very inspired, convicted and transformed as I read this book. Really taught me a lot. This is one anointed author. And for the mathematically inclined, he included the comprehensive 7 page statistical report under the appendix.
Personal testimonies from interviews conducted with the unchurched made everything more personal and I believe the reader will be able to identify with the examples given to their friends they're reaching out to. Very encouraging too.
Grab a copy today and let your mindsets be transformed!