Why do people first come to church?
The friendship factor.
The Institute for Church Growth has done research for over 40 years in the area of church growth. Most recently they asked more than 50,000 people over the last 10 years why they came to church, and between 75 and 90 percent of respondents say, “I began attending because someone invited me.”
In an earlier study, people came to church through the following forms of contact:
- 2% by Advertisement
- 6% by the Pastoral Invitation
- 6% by organized evangelism campaign
- 86% by friends or relatives
In Other Studies:
- One study found 37% of Christians linked their conversion to being invited to church (Johnson, p. 91, citing a 2003 study)
- Martha Grace Reese’s work showed 40% who joined first came because a friend invited.
But only 2% of church people invite an unchurched person to church? (Thom Ranier, 2003).
Can we change that, particularly as Easter approaches? Think about who you want to invite on our bring a friend Sunday, March 13th. This could be friends or family. Many of us have family members who need to reconnect to Christ and the church. Following are the things I would like for you to pray for as we approach invite a Friend Sunday.
1. Pray for your potential Guests (the person you plan to invite)
2. Pray for the opportunity to arise to invite them to Church
3. Pray for awareness of their need
4. Pray for awareness of the opportunity
5. Pray for the courage to invite them to church.
6. Pray for favor that they would accept the invitation.
7. Pray they would follow through and come.
8. Pray that your church would welcome them.
9. Pray that the message and worship would be awe-inspiring
10. Pray that they would hear the message and grow one step closer to God.
Remember this could be a life changing experience for your friends and family.