Many unreligious Americans are willing to go to church, but not for the reasons you would think.
LifeWayResearch released a study last week that reveals unchurched people are not attracted to church for the worship set or to learn more about God. Instead they are more willing to come to a church service or event if faith is not explicit.
For example, 62 percent would attend a church meeting about neighborhood safety, community service event, 51 percent, sports or exercise program, 46 percent, concert, 45 percent, or an all-inclusive neighborhood event at a church, 45 percent.
"Concerns for neighborhood safety and desire to express compassion to the under-resourced seem to be the biggest potential draws for the unchurched to get connected to a church," said Rick Richardson, professor of evangelism and leadership at Wheaton College and research fellow for the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism.
"Invite unchurched people to those kinds of events, and many say they will attend," he concluded.
However, only 35 percent are interested in attending a worship service, 25 percent would attend a recovery group, and only 24 percent would attend a special seminar on a spiritual topic.
And what is the best way to bring people into the church? According to LifeWay Research, a personal invite is the most effective.
"When it comes to church invitations, a personal touch works better than a sales pitch," the report says. 'Half (51 percent) of unchurched Americans say a personal invitation from a friend or family member would be effective in getting them to visit church,"
So that means the best way to get the unchurched in church is to personally invite them to a church sponsored community service event or another event that demonstrates "compassion."