Some new findings suggest that churches, no matter the size, can have a big impact on evangelism efforts as the congregation intentionally focuses on a few small things.
Three faith-based groups – LifeWay Research, the Billy Graham Center, and the Caskey Center for Church Excellence – teamed up earlier this year in a survey of 1,500 pastors of churches with 250 or fewer members. Each church pastor was asked how many converts the church had in the last year and whether those converts stayed with the church after coming to faith.
"The most exciting finding from this study is to see that there are some things that churches can be doing that actually impact the number of people coming to Christ," says Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.
According to the results of the survey, that included holding classes for new attenders; committing a healthy portion of the church budget to evangelism and missions; serving outside the church to share the gospel; and having the pastor set up specific hours to share the gospel.
McConnell tells OneNewsNow it was fascinating to see in the study that among these smaller churches, the smallest churches are statistically reaching the most people per person.
"Yes, sometimes it feels like some of the big churches might be reaching more people because on a given week or a given month we can actually see some of the fruit," he explains. "Per person, though, we see that among small churches they're actually reaching more people."
He says they didn't find a single approach or strategy that would suddenly lead to more people coming to Christ. In fact, he adds, "it appears that doing a lot of small things really add up."