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Friday, August 25, 2006

Survey of my Jerusalem

I've been anxious (which isn't a good thing) lately about my position as Teaching Pastor. Our church has had a very biblical heritage of reaching the lost. Anyone who knows our planting pastor is probably quite quick to tell you that he is much better with making connections outside the church than I am. I discussed this concern with some guys last week and then last Thursday night it hit me. If I want our church to continue to reach out, and I'm worried that my leadership my hinder that, then I need to be the kind of pastor who reaches out. This last week, thousands upon thousands of people have been across the street from my house, and I decided to try to reach out to them.

Here was my game plan. Every night, I stood near "the mic tent" and watched for people standing around. I would approach them and ask them if I could do a survey. (I said the survey was for my blog, which for integrity, is one reason I am publishing the responses here.) At the end of each interview, provided we had a chance to wrap it up, I paid the participants with one of these. Here are the results of the survey, followed by some general observations:
93% of the people I asked to take the survey participated (66/71)
Of those surveyed:
98% said they were a good person (65/66)
98% admitted that they had lied (65/66)
91% admitted they had stolen something before (59/66)
85% admitted to using God's name in vain (56/66)
0% admitted to committing murder initially (0/66)
However, when confronted with Jesus' words, 91% admitted to having a murderer's heart 59/66
2% admitted to committing adultery (1/66)
However, when confronted with Jesus' words, 77% admitted to having an adulterer's heart (51/66)
Then, just like the guys on Way of the Master (and just like the prophets, apostles, church fathers and Jesus Christ, if you are keeping score), I asked them, based on their confession, if God would find them innocent or guilty on the day of judgment. Here were the answers:
53% stated they would be guilty (35/66)
30% stated they would still be innocent (20/66)
5% still were undecided (3/66)
3% said they would be both guilty and innocent (2/66)
Of those who claimed innocence:
60% had no idea why He would find them innocent (12/20)
15% claimed God forgives everyone (3/20)
15% made vague allusions to Jesus (3/20) (more comments on this tomorrow)
5% claimed his baptism created salvation (1/20)
5% gave a clear presentation of the work of Christ for salvation (1/20)

Just to make sure you got that:
1 man (5%) of those who claim innocence claimed Christ as his reason.
1 man (2%) of those interviewed could present the gospel in a clear and understanding way.
1 man (1%) of the people I approached at the fair this week had a clear understanding of the gospel.


This is the rural, conservative, church attending community that I live in. More thoughts Monday...

4 Comments:

  • At 1:34 PM, Blogger Brad said…

    AWESOME idea. STAGGERING statistics. Who knew the need for the gospel in such an area could be so absolutely dire. Something simply has to be done about this.

     
  • At 1:49 PM, Blogger TheReformedThinker said…

    That is amazing. I admire your courage and wish I would have the same. I am curious though, did you actually have anyone willing to repent or did they all walk away like the young rich ruler???

     
  • At 8:56 AM, Blogger Jones said…

    Those results are surprising. I would have guessed that the majority of people who took that survey would not know that Christ was the way to salvation, but the fact that only 1 person knew is surprising. You would think that a community such as ours where we almost litereally have a church on every block, the gospel message would be a little more known.

     
  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    jones,

    it could be BECAUSE we have not articulated the gospel clearly and boldly that we have a church on every corner!

     

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