There is a new study out published in a Barna book, called Churchless, which explores this topic in the headline. It finds that receptivity to direct mail, social online media, tv, radio, and newspaper ad invites to church among those not in a church is very very low. And dropping.
What does this mean for churches? See study here.
In sum, churches should expect that advertising as a main driver of church growth, or a grand opening launch, or a special event will be very unimpressive. Indeed, our church has realized this and stopped spending nearly as much on advertising in our area.
However, I loved how Barna brings this national perspective that the trend is not just North Texas.
That is so useful to others, so they as church laymen and women or leaders can benefit from that VALUABLE knowledge on kingdom resources.
In short, save your ad money, it's just not so much worth it to see people in church. The unchurched don't care much about your ads and they actually begrudge them.
One caveat to the Barna findings is this, however: As Dr. Darrell Robinson says in his evangelism book -- "In the first place, we do not go because they want us to come, but because he (Jesus) has sent us. Second, lost people do not know what it will take for them to reach Christ. When I was lost, if you had asked me, 'Do you want a Christian to come to your house and talk to you?' I would have strongly said, 'Absolutely NOT!' But that is exactly what I needed...."
So in this we should not equate advertising ineffectiveness with other things. We should never give up personally going to people who are friends and neighbors.