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Good News on the Evangelism Front:

Reg Bibby is a Canadian sociologist from the University of Lethbridge, and easily the foremost expert on the sociology of religion in Canada. He has done extensive surveying of the Canadian population over the last almost 30 years. The results of his most recent survey, from 2000, reveal some fascinating trends in Canada. I want to share just two of those as I close this sermon as an encouragement to you.

1. People pray. Bibby writes, “a startling large number (of people) claim to be talking to God on a fairly regular basis.” His survey demonstrates that 74% of Canadians pray privately, 50% of those either daily or weekly. That is 3 out of 4 Canadians, talking to God on their own. Only 21% of those people are in church weekly. If this is the case, there is something you hold in common with a lot of people in your circles, and maybe that is an avenue of conversation. You could even start that conversation by saying “I heard the other day that ¾ Canadians pray – do you believe that?”

2. People are receptive. Bibby’s 2000 survey of Canadians asked this question: “Would you consider the possibility of being more involved in a religious group if you found it to be worthwhile for yourself or your family?” The results surprised me: across Canada, 55% of adults and 39% of teens answered yes. This tells us that people are receptive – that we can expect our sharing of faith to be welcomed and not rejected when done sensitively at least 55% of the time.

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