Yesterday was a great day. I really enjoyed kicking off our mini-series called Proximity. In this series, we are talking about how we can gain proximity with our community so we can actively engage them with the gospel. We talked about the Greek army that gained proximity to the trojans by building a giant horse and giving it away as a gift. That night, Greek soldiers got out of the horse and opened the gates to Troy and the rest is, as they say, history. I am praying that God shows us how to build more horses that we can use to gain proximity with our community. All that being said, I want to talk about our Easter mascot, Invitesum Bunny. For those of you who don’t attend LifePoint, you may not have met him yet. Invitesum Bunny is a constant reminder to us to invite somebody to church this Easter. We have printed 15,000 invite cards for you to use to invite somebody to one of our three gatherings this Easter. Make a difference in someone’s life. Invite them to church. I want to leave you with some statistics I found on the Internet about how unchurched people feel about church.

-82% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited – Dr Thom Rainer
Most Americans have been to church and yet only 20 percent are regular attendees. – The American Church in Crisis

-“Only 2 percent of church members invite a unchurched person to church. 98% of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.” – Dr Thom Rainer

-“71% Of Americans are absolutely certain there is a God.” –The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

-“56% of Americans believe that religion is very important in one’s life.” –The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

-“80% of Americans believe in God.” –Harris Interactive-“Only 21 percent of active church goers invite anyone to church in the course of a year” –Dr Thom Rainer

-“73% of people who dont attend church were never invited.” –Barna Group

-“15% of Americans go to a religious service once a week.” –The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

-“Not counting weddings and funerals, 38% of Americans say that they go to religious services once a week.” –ABCNEWS/ BeliefNet Poll

-“83% of adults claim to be Christians” –American Religious Identification Survey 2008 (AmericanReligiousSurvey-ARIS.org)

-“Four percent of formerly churched adults are actively looking for a church to attend regularly (other than their previous church). Six percent would prefer to resume attending regularly in the same church they had attended. The largest group, 62 percent, is not actively looking, but is open to the idea of attending church regularly again.”–Scott McConnell, Lifeway Research

-“Clearly we can encourage Christians to pray that the unchurched would sense God calling them back, but God works through His people,” said McConnell. “The survey showed that many would respond to an invitation from a friend or acquaintance (41 percent), their children (25 percent) or an adult family member (25 percent).” – McConnell, LifeWay Research

-“The issue of affinity also surfaced in the responses. Thirty–five percent indicated that they would be inspired to attend church if I knew there were people like me there.” –McConnell, LifeWay Research

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