Why do people choose a church?


In Thom S. Ranier’s book Surprising Insights from the Unchurched. It discusses the following three surveys.

Top 13 Reasons that Unchurched People Choose a Church
(research conducted by Ranier)

  1. 90% – Pastor/Preaching
  2. 88% – Doctrines
  3. 49% – Friendliness of Members
  4. 42% – Other Issues
  5. 41% – Someone Church Witnessed to Me
  6. 38% – Family Member
  7. 37% – Sensed God’s Presence/Atmosphere of Church
  8. 25% – Relationship Other than Family Member
  9. 25% – Sunday School Class
  10. 25% – Children’s/Youth Ministry
  11. 12% – Other Groups/Ministries
  12. 11% – Worship Style/Music
  13. 7% – Location

Top 9 Reasons that Church-Attenders Choose a Church
(research conducted by the Barna Group in 1999)

  1. 58% – Doctrine/Theology
  2. 53% – People Caring for Each Other
  3. 52% – Preaching
  4. 45% – Friendliness
  5. 45% – Children’s Programs
  6. 43% – Helping the Poor
  7. 36% – Denomination
  8. 35% – Like the Pastor
  9. 26% – Sunday School

Top 6 Things that Keep the Formerly Unchurched Active in the Church
(research conducted by Ranier)

  1. 62% – Ministry Involvement
  2. 55% – Sunday School
  3. 54% – Obedience to God
  4. 49% – Fellowship of Members
  5. 38% – Pastor/Preaching
  6. 14% – Worship Services

The statistics speak for themselves. Overall, doctrine, the pastor and his preaching, and the friendliness and fellowship of the congregation are the most influential qualities.

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