something I came across this morning while waiting for lunchtime to get here…

This morning, I came across these Survey results… I’m a sucker for surveys – even more for stuff having to do with God & church & stuff…

For “Unchurched” People – top reasons for choosing a church are:

  • Pastor/the preaching
  • Doctrine
  • Friendliness of others

    For “Church Attenders” – top reasons are:

  • Doctrine/theology
  • People caring for each other
  • Preaching

    What keeps previously “Unchurched” people in a church?

  • Involvement
  • Sunday School (Kids program)
  • Obedience to God

    The survey wrangler sums it the findings by saying that the doctrine, pastor, friendliness of people, & the fellowship are the most important things, across the board…

    What do you think? What has made you choose/unchoose your church?

    The things that most surprised me from the survey was that the bottom two responses under the “Why do unchurched people choose a church?” were “Worship Style/Music” & “Location.” I guess I’m surprised because most of the prevailing ideas I’ve been exposed to within the church (see the little ‘c’) & in the stream of church would have emphasized both of these… with the Worship Style/Music being at or near the top.

    Makes me wonder – are these ‘prevailing ideas’ (& I’m using those words from now on with ‘quotes’ around them,) just figments in the imaginations of people who are responsible for worship in these churches over-estimating the importance & significance of that part of the church service? Like somehow the music part is a ‘make or break’ item… & because I have my own issues, preferences & involvement, somehow, someway I drank the Kool-aid (or at least was exposed to the Purple Drank) to think that the worship style/music would be more important to others.

    Maybe its that people are more concerned with relationships – being accepted & connecting… along with being able to understand & identify with the teaching… & that its not heretical. Or maybe its just these respondents…

    For me, I’ve never chosen a church to go to really – I’ve always wanted to, but church has usually been something that has chosen me… if that makes any sense.

    Over the years, theBean & I have visited a couple of churches in town – not so much to ‘check them out’ but just to go “BE” somewhere anonymously. I’d like to pretend that I didn’t care that people didn’t talk to me (& I even had my “Hi, I’m really trying” face on.) Or that we seemed to (felt like?) we/I? stood out like sore thumbs… thumbs that seemed to have very interesting people all around & behind them… it must have been, because everyone I/we walked by seemed to be on their way to talk with those around us.

    I haven’t really thought about those “visiting other places” experiences for a long time, probably because we haven’t been ‘out & about’ for a while… but reading the survey & thinking about looking for a church stirred up all kinds of thoughts & feelings… emotions even. Maybe I’ll write a bit about that later…

  • 6 thoughts on “something I came across this morning while waiting for lunchtime to get here…

    1. Maybe worship is what more church leaders seem to worry about because it's easier to blame than your own congregration or your own sermons.

    2. i am pretty sure that worship style is number one, it's just at such a gut level people don't realize it. they'll say they didn't like the teaching because crappy organ music left a bad taste in their mouth.

      the problem with asking people why they do anything is that people don't always know.

    3. having fit into all of these categories at one time or another… I think they are pretty accurate. Music is important, but not a make or break it thing; if it was, we would probably still be at our last church. Not that you guys don't rock… just, we probably wouldn't have tried any other place. The music was awesome, but the people (including the pastor) were pretentious and untouchable.

    4. I think that survey nailed it. While I certainly enjoy good worship I have never left (or stayed in) a church because of the quality of the music.

      On the other hand how welcome you feel is vital. After moving to a new part of town I tried a local church and while everything about it was fantastic – worship, preaching, location, doctrine – I barely got a "hello". It was as if I wasn't even there. Nice as that church was in every other way I never went back.

    5. Church people in general, believe that "more" people would come if the "music" was rockin', or if it was just the right style. Here's a shocker: if people wanted to "listen" to great music, they wouldn't need to go to church to find it. Slowly, worship has become more about the musical style & the tight band, rather than giving honor, thanks, & "worship" to God. I believe this has led to the listening & watching phenomenon within "the church."

    6. when we left the church here in reno( that we were commuting to twice a week from carson) it wasn't because of the worship. they had a rock concert every time…and then some!!
      it was because of doctrinal issues that my hubby had with the pastor that later proved to be spot on.
      myself- a church is people. if the people are real enough to swallow, the speaking is relevant enough to everyday life with a whole lot of bible, and if I feel a genuine love or sense of community i could stay there forever.
      some people are bound to just be church shoppers but that is just not me. if something is wrong with where I congregate then I want to know I have done my part to fix it before leaving for "greener pastures."

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