LifeWay research shows most Americans open to personal church invitations

The vast majority of Americans would go to a church service if they were invited. That was the conclusion of a study by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and LifeWay Research, the survey arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. More than 15,000 adults were sampled last December in the extensive study across geographic and demographic lines. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents said a personal invitation from a friend or a family member would prompt them to attend a service. Similarly, 63 percent said the invitation of a friend or neighbor would also be welcomed. The personal invitations were the only of 13 surveyed approaches where a majority of respondents said they would be attracted to attend a service. Only 24 percent were willing to receive an invitation by someone knocking on their door. Less than 50 percent said newspaper, radio or television ads were effective. A minority also said billboards or unsolicited mailings were effective. Especially ineffective were e-mail solicitations: 70 percent said such an e-mail would be viewed as spam. As for particular denominations, nondenominational churches were viewed as the most likely for respondents to visit. Mormon congregations were viewed as the least likely to visit. “The primary lesson North American believers should learn from this research is that many of your unchurched friends are ready for an invitation to conversation,” said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. “Unbelievers next door still need a simple, personal invitation to talk, to be in community and to church. Clearly, relationships are important and work together with marketing.” Link: LifeWay Research: http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/mainpage/0%2C1701%2CM%25253D200767%2C00.html

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