Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes

Surprised by my neighbours

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Sometimes I get very distracted by bookshelves – so many great books to read and enjoy, and so much work to procrastinate! Picked up Thom Ranier’s book, “The Unchurched Next Door,” and I’ve been ruined for the past 2 days. I’d like to share with you his top 10 surprises from the introduction (didn’t even make it to chapter 1 before I was ruined).  I’m not sure how much I like the term “unchurched”, better might be neighbour – I’ll stick with that.

#1 – Most of your neighbours prefer to attend church on Sunday
#2 – Females are usually most antagonistic or most receptive to the gospel
#3 – Most of my neighbours feel guilty about not attending church
#4 – 82% of our neighbours are at least “somewhat likely” to attend church if asked.
#5 – Very few of your neighbours have had someone share with them how to become a Christian. And Christians have not been particularly influential in their lives.
#6 – Most have a positive view of pastors, minister and the church.
#7 – Some types of “cold calls” are effective, many are not.
#8 – My neighbours would like to develop a real and sincere relationship with a Christian.
#9 – Attitudes of our neighbours is not related to where they live, ethnicity, race, or gender.
#10 – Most of my neighbours are far more concerned about the spiritual well-being of their children than of themselves.

I was most surprised by #4 in that 4 of 5 people might come to church if invited. Second most surprising to me was #9 – I’d have thought that there would have been at least regional differences or generational differences.

What surprises you when you read this list? Is there any of these that you think you’d need more information or context?

 

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Author: Robb Massey

I'm a husband, dad, pastor and a coach. I love following Jesus, riding my bike and having fun with my family. We live in wonderful Winnipeg, Manitoba in the prairie heartland of Canada

3 thoughts on “Surprised by my neighbours

  1. I’m not sure if you or they are specifically talking about unchurched vs churched in general (negating their faith in Jesus aside).
    #1 For myself I prefer to attend church on Sunday and I think its an ingrained north american tendancy.
    #3 I feel guilty about not attending church and equate this to the level of my spirituality or faith (just like a Sunday school attendance list). I think other people also think this way.
    #4 – Most people don’t like to say no to others, especially on a touchy topic like faith/religion.
    #5 – I only got this after knowing a Christian (friend) in high school and meeting another friend at church when they blatantly asked me about going to heaven.. I swear I could get in with my ‘Mennonite card’.
    #6 – Sigh.. I’ve lived too long in churches.. we’re all human and have our ups and downs in regards to this.
    #8 – Do your neighbours know what this is? We see lots of duplicity in this I think… in the media etc.
    #10 – I encountered this early on when I became a Christian. One of my un-churched friends mentioned she would perhaps go to church when she had children. This baffled me.

    sounds like some good questions to get a bible study going 😉

    • Good thoughts Alyssa. What do you think keeps you from inviting others to church?

      • When I was invited I had been friends with the person for years in highschool and thought it almost a compliment that she invited me. Ha! For me it’s relational and two fold. I know that church isn’t the answer but my/a relationship with Jesus is. So that if the church hurts, if I move or leave that church they will have a relationship with Jesus and hopefully still a relationship with me. I kinda miss ‘church’ being about community, whether it be the one you physically live in or grew up in. But that’s just a dream, I’ve never gone to church for either of those reasons.

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