I don’t really care what you call it–Family and Friends Day was what we called it in the church of my growing-up–do you have it?
The reason I’m asking the question is that I came across this fact-and-myth webpage when I was doing some research recently.
In countering the myth many liberal churches have that advertising is the way to bring in new members, the authors present these facts:
- Fact: Many new people (47%) visit for the first time because someone invited them; only 6% came for the first time due to advertising.
- Fact: Most new people visit between 1 and 3 congregations before choosing their new home.
While I think the percentage that the authors say come to a church for the first time due to a direct invitation is low (I think the number is well over 50%), even if you go with the 47%, that’s a big number. A number that liberal religious folk need to pay attention to.
So in your scramble to build better church websites that are inviting to newcomers, maybe you should take a different look at what really draws people in. How about inviting your next-door neighbor to come to church with you? How about having a ‘Family and Friends Day’ to introduce those people closest to you to a place that means something to you?
If 47% of people walk through the church-house door for the first time because of an invitation and only 6% come because of advertising (and yes, I’m including websites in advertising)–where should you put your time and attention?