Archive for March, 2009

Are people receptive to being invited to church?

A few years ago I read a shocking paragraph in Thom Rainer’s book, The Unchurched Next Door:

82 percent of the unchurched are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to attend church if they are invited. Perhaps we need to pause on this response. Perhaps we need to restate it: More than eight out of ten of the unchurched said they would come to church if they were invited.

This seemed astonishlingy high, yet also encouraging for those of us who would like to see our friends, families, and neighbors discover a relationship with God. Is it really true?

Well, a few years later, the research has shown Rainer’s estimations are slipping. Nonetheless, recent statistics are encouraging. A recent survey discovered that 63% of people are somewhat or very willing to receive information about a church from a family member and 56% are somewhat or very willing to receive information from a friend or neighbor.

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Additionally, 38% (almost 4 out of 10) have said they are more open to considering matters of faith during the Easter holiday season. lwr_timing

None of this is really too surprising. But it does mean that if there was ever a time to invite a friend or family member to church, this would be it. Click here for information about Second Mile’s Easter Celebration, and pass it on to someone you love.

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Follow Me on Twitter

I recently decided to start using Twitter. So far it’s been a great way to share information, good resources, and stay up to date with some friends and others that I like to keep up with and learn from.

You can follow me at @lukedsimmons.

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Could you forgive the person who killed your spouse?

Here’s a remarkable story of forgiveness from Cindy Winters, whose husband was gunned down in his church a few weeks ago.

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Does Satan Exist?

Nightline recently did a debate about the existence of Satan, featuring Mark Driscoll, Annie Lobert, Deepak Chopra, and Bishop Carlton Pearson that will  air in part tonight on ABC. You can watch it in full at the Nightline Face-Off website.

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Encouraging Video

Here’s a great story about a guy who’s overcome some significant obstacles and achieved something really impressive. It’s definitely worth your time.

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God’s Grace at Second Mile

Yesterday was an awesome day for Second Mile. We had a great worship gathering centered on loving God with everything and loving your neighbor as yourself (sermon here). We prayed, sang, and celebrated.

Then we joined together in the afternoon for our first baptism celebration. 13 people were baptized and shared their story of God’s grace. There were stories from people who had been religious and those who hadn’t. It was a great picture of God’s grace and a huge encouragement to the packed house of people who came.

We’re praying for more grace as we anticipate our move to Perry High School in April. God has been so abundantly kind so far. May his grace abound in your life today as well.

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Great Free Hymns Album

Check out this incredible hymns project by Page CXVI. You can download it FREE until March 25th. I have beenpage_cxvi1 listening to it a bunch and I know you’ll enjoy it.

About their name and this project, the band writes:

For all of you who were wondering where our name “Page CXVI” came from, we’d love to share with you a little bit about it. Page CXVI is a reference to page 116 of our personal copy of The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis. It is a poignant passage where Aslan begins to sing Narnia into creation out of a black void. One of the characters, Digory, describes it as,

“…it was the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.”

As the hymns project began to form, our hope was to wrap the strong lyrical content of the hymns, with music that portrayed our personal reactions to the life that God has brought to our “black void.” The most personal song on the album is by far “Joy” with the counterpart, “It is Well” was written by Horatio Spafford after losing his son to scarlet fever, all of his real estate investments to the Great Chicago Fire, and his 4 remaining children to the sinking of a boat. The contemplative turn from “Joy” into the lines from “It is Well” comes out of our own personal tragedy this past year and combines a Psalm like lamentation with hope. Our intention with all of these songs is to be a source of comfort and encouragement to all who hear them.

Click here to download the album for free.

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