How do people choose a church?

Jayson Byrd   -  

Below is a chart that shows the results of a survey on the reasons indicators for people’s choice of a church. Interpreting statistics can be complicated and often scaled to suit a prior agenda, yet they are helpful. Though it’s an older survey, I think it brings up several principles and observations that seem to be counterintuitive to the market-driven models of ministry, the latest fad, and the presumed attractions things that “bring young people in.” Interestingly some of the factors ranking highest are also ones in which established Orthodox churches are best suited to serve.

Here’s the chart – below are some observations.


  1. Sunday School isn’t a relic of the past. Even though it’s not a “front door” ministry like it was in the mid-20th century, it’s now a vital “back door” (ie. keeping people from leaving) ministry. On-campus classes excel in the area of teaching. Teaching is a core component of the great commission. For the majority of Christians, the local church is the only exposure they will ever have to Christian Education. Don’t be too cool for Sunday School 🙂
  2. Doctrine and Preaching are extremely important. Don’t fall for the farce that people don’t want doctrinal preaching.
  3. The organic ministry of the congregation is more important than we realize. People aren’t looking for the “friendly church;” They’re looking for friends at church.
  4. Family and Relationships are extremely important: Keep inviting and talking to family members, they’re your most natural and closest contacts. Obviously Jesus was okay with family members going to church together 🙂 There were at least two sets of brothers among Christ’s disciples, and two of his own half-brothers were key leaders in the early church (James & Jude). Your investment in family and friends for the kingdom is crucial.
  5. Worship Style isn’t as not nearly as big a deal as previous generations purport.