Who and How?

I recently heard a comment regarding who and how families are brought to Christ that intrigued me.

A statistic was cited that “only 3%” of families are “won for Christ” if kids are reached first or foremost.   Only “17%” of families were “reached for Christ” if women were reached first or foremost.   If men are reached for Christ, guess what the figure jumps to in terms of “Winning families for the Lord”?  Ninety-five percent.  As in, if men are won for Christ, the likelihood of a whole family being reached is 95%, as opposed to 17% when women are targetted and a mere 3% when the focus is on children.

A couple thoughts sprang to mind when I heard this.  One, what does “reached for Christ” or “won to the Lord” mean?  How is that quantified, adjudicated, measured – or can that even be done?  Are we talking about numbers of people who fill out a “commitment card,” raise their hands in a church service, walk down an aisle in response to an altar call?  Are we talking about someone who says some “spiritual words” in a certain order, addressing a certain topic or with sufficient sincerity to consider them “reached”?  What exactly does this phrase mean, and who decides?

Second, who did the *researchers* who came up with this statistic ask, and how was the question posed?

Everything I’ve seen or read on the subject of “reaching families for Christ” indicates that they key is reaching kids, who in turn influence their siblings, friends, parents, and so on.  Do we throw that out?  If so, do we throw out children’s ministry as well in favor of focusing time, energy and resources on the “head of the household”?

Third, doesn’t this *statistic* seem to imply – with the subtlety of a freight train – that any “reaching for Christ” emphasis, focus, priority or resources targetting women and children is more a less a waste of said resources?  Is this merely a rehearsal of the usual conservative evangelical gender model – reach the men first and everyone else will fall in line underneath the “divinely designed” head of the household – or something else?

What do you think?


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