According to 57% of unsaved New Englanders—YES! I shared these stats previously, but in case you missed them…
Recent surveys of New Englanders and religion have been published by Lifeway. Here are the HIGH POINTS!
1. Church attendance in New England has dropped over 10% in the last four years. That sounds like bad news, but it’s not. Think about it! There’s a HUGE state-church presence in New England. That state church, along with false doctrine, has had huge scandal. Lots of lost hearts are hurt and disillusioned by their state church. They are looking for truth and for a place to attend church for Easter!
2. 57% of New Englanders state that a personal invitation from a friend would be effective in getting them to church! That’s HUGE! Think about it! You have a 57% chance of getting someone to come to church just because you know them and invited them! Could God make it any easier for us? (The number goes up to 58% if you are related to them!) The key here is “friendship!” New Englanders are looking for relationships that lead them to truth!
3. 25% of New Englanders state that a social networking invitation to church would be effective for them. So it’s time to use Facebook, twitter, blogs, email, and podcasts for something that’s finally HELPFUL! Light up the social networking world with invitations. (If your church preaches the gospel that is. If not, bring them to Emmanuel Baptist in Newington!)
4. 30% of New Englanders say a sign would help them get to church. Make a banner! Tomorrow! Hang it! Get seen somehow. Let people know you are ready for them to come grow in God’s grace with you!
5. 22% of New Englanders say a personal visit to their door would help them come to church. Make a postcard! They’re cheap. Get out to your neighbors, leave invites on their doors. Hand a post card to a restaurant employee, a teller, a cashier, anybody who is breathing.
My personal experience—In 35 years of inviting people to church I’ve never had the response that I have in Connecticut. This is no exaggeration. 8 out of 10 people that I invite to church respond with a pause, a question, then another thoughtful pause. Then they almost always say something like this: “You know… I’ve really been thinking about going to church…” It’s a New Englander’s way of saying, “I know I need something more in life, and I wonder if the Bible really does have the answer?” And it’s God’s way of showing us that His Holy Spirit is already working in hearts before we ever meet them.
So, reach out. Make friendships with lost people. Invite them to Jesus. And before we chicken out—
Remind yourself that better than HALF of them said they would likely come to church if a friend invited them!