Here are a few of the most important takeaways from this book:
Factors Leading to the Decision to Choose a Particular Church (top 5)
- Pastor and/or his preaching (90%)
- Doctrines of the church clearly spelled out, believed with conviction (88%)
- Friendliness of members (49%)
- Someone from church witnessed to me (41%)
- Family member attends or invited me (38%)
Factors Specific to the Pastor (top 5)
- Preaching that teaches/is biblically-based
- Preaching that applies to my life
- Authenticity of pastor
- Pastor's conviction
- Personal contact by the pastor
A few other key takeaways:
- Relationships played a huge role in the unchurched staying and becoming involved. Specifically, family relationships, and even more specifically, the wife bringing a reluctant husband, were by far the most important relationships present.
- First impressions are very important, if only to limit "bad" impressions. 90% of respondents said friendliness or facilities were a major factor for their returning to a particular church. Specifically, items mentioned in order of importance: friendliness/reponsiveness to newcomers, adequate space/parking, impressive children's facilities, and a perception of organization.
- Reasons the unchurched returned after their first visit (in order of importance): the church clarified its beliefs and practices as soon as possible, usually with a new members class; the church had high expectations for involvement of its members; the church provided a small group context where relationships could flourish; the church had a strong sense of mission and purpose well-known by the leaders and membership; and the church provided ways for its members to participate in ministry.