Stats or Anecdotes

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Those who know me think I care about statistics. Well, sort of. I care about the realities behind the stats as part of the information that helps me run the race with more of an edge.

Here are some things I have read that allege to be based on research. I really don’t know how reliable the research is. But until I can replicate the research myself I am going to develop my approach based on these concepts.

  • 80% of people who come to Christ do so after 6 Gospel presentations.
  • 60% of people who come to Christ do so after 10 Gospel presentations.
  • 70% of people who come to Christ do so as a result of a crisis or major lifestyle change.
  • More people come to Christ when they are facing their birthday on the decadal marks. That is when approaching 20, 30, 40, 50 etc.
  • 15% of people who come to Christ do so before the age of 18.
  • 80% of people will come to church with you if you invite them.
  • 5% of people will come to church with you if you invite them.
  • 5% of the unchurched people around you wouldn’t mind hearing from your church and considering engagement in its life. (This one I do know for sure because of first-hand research. From a low of 3.5% in a 95% French Catholic community up to 12% in a growing Canadian suburban community.)

OK. So there are lots of questions. Does it take so many Gospel presentations because we suck at it? Do we only show interest in people who are in apparent change or crisis? Maybe we only worked on children in the past. I have more questions normal people never think of! My wife often asks why I have so many questions. That’s because I am still four years old.

Here is what I know for sure.

  • Friends don’t let friends go to hell without getting a warning out there.
  • You will not have any influence over 100% of the people you ignore.
  • You will never find a way to bring people to Christ that works 100% of the time.
  • You are far better moving on from a “no” to find a new “yes” than you are trying to turn a “no” into a “yes.” A “no” might mean “never” or “not now” or “not yet” but “no means no.” Get over it and move on. Check back later on your “no” people.
  • You will never win anyone while beating around the bush. Talking about your faith is like talking about your major in college. Interesting but irrelevant to them. Inviting people to consider your faith is very different.
  • You will never be the specimen of the perfect Christian. But if Christ hasn’t changed your life for the better maybe you should give yourself a slap upside the head.
  • Jesus told about the shepherd who left the 99 to find the 1. Finding the 1 ought to be every Christian’s concern. If you haven’t found 1 learn some different search and rescue techniques.
  • If there aren’t winnable people in your nation then Jesus owes you an apology for telling us all to make disciples of all nations.

Forget all the stats as an armchair pursuit and create your own anecdotes. You might find that 1 out of 10 responds. Don’t sit around trying to figure out how to get 2 out of 10. Just talk to more people in more ways more often and you will get more results. If you want 2, go talk to 20 and don’t sit with a fidget spinner waiting for a better, more comfortable way.

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