The top three things that would get those people inside the doors are:
A meeting about neighborhood safety (62%)
A community service event (51%)
A sports or exercise program (46%)
There was a tie for fourth place: a concert or a neighborhood get-together.
So in the top five reasons for going to church, none of them are the primary reasons the church building is there — teaching about faith or worshipping God — are listed. (You could argue, of course, that “attending a concert” would likely cover the worship part, however, since a concert held at a church, presumably, would feature faith-based music.)
Maybe that’s why so many churches today seem obsessed with looking like a rock concert.
But one other finding among the multiple findings listed in the article linked above was particularly interesting: people not going to church don’t mind talking about faith:
Almost half (47 percent) said they would discuss religion freely if the topic comes up while 31 percent said they would listen without responding and 11 percent said they would change the subject.
That means 78 percent are willing to at least hear a religious discussion, and, potentially, be influenced by one.
A church need not be the only place in which a religious discussion take place. In fact, if Sunday morning is the only time of the week you talk about your faith or are ever around people who choose to talk about their faith, you’re probably doing something wrong.
It’s interesting to think how churches might benefit from encouraging more community interaction during its “off-hours” or even on Sunday morning to get people inside. Maybe that would be a way to introduce them to an atmosphere that feels more comfortable, more like home than the places that have previously turned them off.
Maybe that’s one way to encourage more people who show up.
Maybe the “rock concert” model doesn’t work for everyone after all.
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.