I was just having a look at the different routes by which people found there way to us over the past 8 years. The headlines are:
4.5% through births to families already part of the church
31% came on their own initiative. This means they found their way to us because they passed the building, found us on the internet or possibly by word of mouth.
39% came because they were invited or advised to come along by friends or family.
20% came initially through our midweek ministries including children’s clubs, toddler groups and ESOL classes
4.5% came directly from a “cold contact invitation” through our door to door and street evangelism ministry.
These figures apply to regular church attendance (at least once per month at a service and/or home group).
A couple of comments.
1. This shows the variety of means by which people come into contact with a local church. Each has a part to play.
2. The majority of those who came through the door of their own accord were likely to have had some starting point in Christian faith. They were at different stages and as well as direct transfer with people moving here includes people returning to faith and church fellowship for a variety of reasons.
3. Those now attending church services who came through midweek clubs and ministries are also likely to have been befriended and personally invited by someone from the church.
The challenge is this. Whilst it is encouraging to see such a significant proportion coming because they have been invited, I think we can do more inviting. I think I can do more inviting. I do try to invite neighbours along, especially to special events as a starting point but I need to be praying for more gospel opportunities with neighbours.