Surprising Insights of the Unchurched

Thom Rainer is a lead researcher for the Southern Baptist church. His team interviewed 353 people who formerly had little to no church affiliations or ties but became Christians and active members at a church. They wanted to discover what made them choose to become a Christian and the church they are attending. I must say that I was surprised. I outlined many of my thoughts and his main points here (Surprising Insights). Below is a few of my surprises.

1. The Preacher – 90% of people choose the church they attend because of the pulpit minister. Wow! I mean that is not shocking in one way but in other ways yes. I have never chosen a church because of a preacher, although I have not chose some because of it. The preachers personality, ability to relate, lead, and preach were huge factors.

2. Doctrine – 88% of people said doctrine was important. They wanted a church that had beliefs, stood behind them, and could explain them.

3. Appearances – I grew up in an area where every building was decorated the year it was built and well they all looked, smelt, felt, and where old. People said the appearance made them return and give them a second chance or never return. This is a shock to me. But who wants to go to a doctors office that is dingy, dated, etc. It makes you think that it is unclean, old, stale, and the doctor must be too. So I guess this makes more sense, but I was shocked.

4. Relationships – I have always picked a church based primarily on people. But this isn’t true with the unchurched. It wasn’t a top factor for them. Wives had the biggest influence of any group.

This is a great read to help you think about how your church can be more evangelistic.


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