It’s All About Relationships
Continuing our Close Encounters series at Bridge Church. Talked this week about the importance of relationships in Jesus’ ministry and the need for relational approaches to reaching our friends for Christ. In the book Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and Churches that Reach Them by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley, and Jason Hayes, they demostrate this need with statistical data. A few statistics:
- 17% in todays world would go to church if seeking spiritual guidance. The church is no longer the place to go to find answers about spirituality.
- 90% believe they can have a good relationship with God without being involved in a church.
- 91% have at least one Christian among their close friends.
- 90% said they would be willing to listen to someone share his or her beliefs.
- 60% said they would be willing to study the Bible if a friend ask them.
- 48% would be willing attend a small group of people to learn more about the Bible and Jesus.
So people do not consider church for answers, but they have connections with Christians in our churches and would even be willing to open their lives to listen to friends. So releasing and empowering Christians to reach their network of friends off of our campuses should be a major part of our strategy. Neil Cole in his book Church 3.0 comments about this research with this question: “Why is it that when we consider ways to reach out to the lost we always plan events rather than using the natural relationships God has already given us?” Could this be a solution to our churches budget crunch? Less expensive productions, more releasing people to form organic relationships that will bring others to a close encounter with Christ.