The Unchurched Next Door are Receptive
Ed Stetzer and team recently released one of the largest surveys on Americans’ receptivity to different methods of church invitations. Conducted last December, the study included a survey of over 15,000 adults.
It should not come as a surprise, but the best way to reach people is through friends, family, and neighbors:
Personal invitations are generally well received. It is yet another example of statistics screaming for us to be bold in sharing our faith and inviting others to church. This level of receptivity should encourage the church – our unchurched neighbors are not as adamant against attending church as we might think.
USA Today reported on the story from the perspective of the Southern Baptist Convention (with which my church cooperates). The survey was commissioned by the North American Mission Board and conducted by LifeWay, two agencies of the SBC. This from Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today:
The Southern Baptist Convention, which is launching a new national campaign to bring unbelievers to Jesus, is up against a major obstacle: motivating its own members to evangelize.
But it may be the only effective way to reach people, according to a survey of 15,173 people by LifeWay Research, a Christian research firm.
The survey found only two ways most people said they were somewhat or very willing to “receive information” about Jesus: 63% would hear it in a “personal conversation with a family member,” or with a friend or neighbor from the church (56%).
“Baptists like to talk more about evangelism than to actually do it,” says LifeWay director Ed Stetzer. Personal evangelizing is “a great concept that’s hard for people to get motivated to do.”
I’m all for a Great Commission Resurgence in my denomination and others. And it begins with me.