Most Americans Open to Church Invitations

Most Americans say they would visit a church if invited by a family member, neighbor or a friend.

A recent study by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) and LifeWay Research found that 67 percent of Americans say a personal invitation from a family member would be effective in getting them to visit a church. A personal invitation from a friend or neighbor would effectively reach 63 percent.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) are willing to receive information about a local congregation or faith community from a family member, and 56 percent are willing to receive such information from a friend or neighbor.

“The primary lesson North American believers should learn from this research is that many of your unchurched friends are ready for an invitation to conversation,” said Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research. “Unbelievers next door still need a simple, personal invitation to talk, to be in community and to church.”

So, what are you waiting for? Who will you invite to church this week?


  1. I wonder how many people don’t invite friends to church because they are embarrassed by the dullness of Sunday.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    It’s a great question, Marcus, and one that churches need to address. Too often we put all the responsibility for inviting friends on the people in the congregation, but the church leadership needs to take responsibility too.

    One great discussion question that we have asked our own people a number of times is this: “Is there anything we are doing in Sunday morning service that is making you hesitant to bring friends? If so, how could we do it better or differently?”

    Of course if the answer is something like “You are teaching from the Bible,” we are not going to change that. But often this question helps to surface certain habits of doing or saying things that are just not visitor friendly. And those things we can change or improve. It is all part of offering hospitality as a church to our guests.

  3. Bethany says:

    This is encouraging news for me! I always feel as if an invitation to church would be unwelcome, or seem “pushy”. I am doing a Bible Study right now called Holy Conversations and it has a similar premise. The author states that many people want to talk about “spiritual” things, especially in this day and age where the idea of “spirituality” has become popular. People are often hungry to hear more but don’t always want to ask. By being open to Holy Conversations, we can share our stories with people that are open to hearing. Although we only just started, I have already had 3 unexpected conversations with folks about my faith. Perhaps an invite to church would be a welcome follow-up!

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Bethany,

    The Bible study sounds neat and looks like it is already bearing fruit in conversations about spiritual things. I also found this report encouraging, because so far I have found people I have asked fairly unresponsive about coming to church. But maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s Massachusetts!

  5. Ray, I like what you said about not compromising on teaching the Bible. That’s where I’m usually hesitant actually. Instead of teaching the Bible, churches get caught up in social and political arguments. It’s tough when you’ve invested years with a family and they can’t seem to stop talking politics or some other powder keg issue.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Church Invitations at Easter (George Barna) at Ray Fowler .org

Leave a Reply