of visitors come to the church through invitations from friends or relatives?
Studies show that 2% come to the church as a result of advertisement, 6% by pastoral
invitation, 6% by organized evangelism campaign, and 86% by friends or relatives.
Quite a staggering statistic! Most of the time we think that advertising is key, but in fact you are the key for someone to connect with God and His Church. It is worth noting that the research states they come through the invitations of friends or relatives. People respond to those they know and trust. They value what you find important in your life, especially if it is a priority in how your order your life.
There are a couple of lessons for us therein. First, when it comes to invitations, begin with those you know and have relationships established with. There are postcards in the church with the Easter service times to hand out. We also have business cards that you can hand out too if you prefer that method, which allows you to add your number or email to the back of the card. You can take to social media and share the Facebook event set up online, and in the Encourager there is a PDF version of the postcard that you can email out as well. Options abound for getting the word out, but in addition to an invite you consider an offer to grab lunch after, saving them a seat, or even picking them up for church that morning. Intentionality in your relationships often bear the most fruit.
Secondly, another lesson for us from this statistic is to broaden our friend circles. If we primary have Christian friends, perhaps we can forge relationships with neighbors, coworkers and others who are disconnected from God and His Church. We do so for a host of reasons, but one can be helping others discover what we have found in relationship with Jesus. Relationships take time, but such investments may allow for someone to reconnect with God in the future.
I am so thankful this time of year for the reminder that while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us (see Romans 5:8)! Jesus bridged the gap for you and me back into relationship with God. We, by cooperating with the Holy Spirit at work in us, may be a bridge for someone else to reconnect with God as well. May God open our eyes to those around us in the days to come and give us boldness to share with them what we have found through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.