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Statistics on Invitations to Church

Ed Stetzer was interviewed this week by Cathy Lynn Grossman for USA Today about Americans’ receptivity to evangelistic contacts and outreach from a church.

Lifeway Research and the North American Mission Board surveyed over 15,000 people (read more on this report via Lifeway Research) and they found that most people said they would be willing to receive information about church in a personal conversation with a family member, friend or neighbor.

Check out this results:

Receptive to Church Marketing

This information re-confirms much of the research that I have collected during the 1990s.  I’m glad to know that research organizations are still looking into these issues.

Key Statistical Finding

Stetzer writes:

Ultimately the research showed that relationships remain the most effective approach to those outside of the church, and that good marketing / advertising are a good support, but not enough on their own.

Considering our series on building relationships and looking at our spheres of personal influence, the data still indicates that if we want our churches to grow, we need to be inviting people to them, as well as talking about our personal faith in Christ.


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About EvangelismCoach

Chris wants to help you increase the number of conversations that lead people towards Christ. He has studied evangelism and church growth ever since working for a Billy Graham crusade over 20 years ago, and has led countless training seminars throughout North and South America in many different denominations.


  1. Has anyone done a study about the benefits of having an article in the local newspaper re. a church event or program.

    The article above lists 5 ways people are willing to receive information about a local congregation.
    I would like to have seen the 6th way of receiving information – an article (and a picture) of an event taking place, or the church involved in a community service event.

    When I’m new in a community I am drawn to the churches that are visible and actively involved in ministering to the community.

  2. I have not come across such a study.

    However, I have interviewed a pastor who does press releases on a regular basis. I recorded a podcast with him about how to do press releases.

    Actual cause and effect is hard to measure, but a press release is one good way to keep the community aware of what you are doing:

    Here is one example on how not to do a church press release:


  1. [...] Statistics on Invitations to Church [...]

  2. [...] Lifeway research released in 2009 indicated that most people are still open to a invitation to a church from a friend.  See: Statistics on Invitations to Church [...]

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