"82 percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.... Only 2 percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. 98% of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year." - Dr. Thom Rainer, The Unchurched Next Door. The obvious implication of this that church-goers need to do a better job inviting their friends to church. But if we're really going to be effective in doing God's work, we need to seek the answers to some deeper questions:
Could it be that more church-goers don't invite their friends to church because they know it won't make a difference in their friends' lives? If so, why is a church-going experience viewed as so ineffective?
What about the other 18 percent of Americans who will not attend church even if asked? How will we reach them? Or did Jesus only die for church-goers?
What if every church filled its buildings with receptive guests one Sunday (such as on the Sunday after 9/11)? What happens then? Will they come back the next Sunday? If not, why?
Is the growth of our churches the most effective way to fulfill the Great Commission? Or is a new paradigm (really an old paradigm--1st century kind-of-old) needed to see a rapidly reproducing discipleship movement?