Keeping A Church Poll Results

June 19, 2007 by

2007_06_19keepingchurch.jpg This week we asked what it would take to keep you returning to a church that you visited. This was our third part in a semi-series about leaving and finding a new church. Here’s how you finished up the series:

The leading factor in returning to a church is its authenticity. If you can trust them, you’ll stay around. 32% of you say authenticity would keep you coming back. Slightly less of you, 27%, would come back based on the teaching of the pastor.

15% of you would keep coming back based on the members–how engaging they are, how fun they are and the like. And 12% of you want a church with solid worship music. Singing to God obviously gets you fired up, and that’s what would keep you at a church.

Only 5% of you would focus primarily on what the church brings to your children, and only 2% on what programs the church offers. I’ll be honest, these numbers are surprisingly low to me. 7% of you said that ‘Something Else’ would keep you coming back.

So it looks like most often, based on the last three weeks, most of you leave church because they forsake scripture for relevance, find a new church by checking the web site of local churches and keep coming back based on the authenticity of the church. That’s purely scientific, of course.

Let us know in the comments if these three weeks surprised you or affirmed what you believe. Also, what did we leave out? This week, we celebrate our 100th poll! Make sure to weigh in!

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Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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13 Responses to “Keeping A Church Poll Results”

  • Derrick
    June 19, 2007

    I remember getting mad at the old foggies (sp?) about being set in their ways and selfish. Oh man! It seems that we’ve become the same way in some respects. I don’t think we should base our decision on what the church can do for “ME” but what a particular church is doing to reach out. Are there changed lives? Are people coming to Jesus? It’s not a Christian country club, this is what we were put here for!
    So, I would say, “something else,” specifically in how they are reaching non-believers. Sorry to be a butt-hole.

  • Mean Dean
    June 19, 2007

    Trick question?
    I’m pretty sure that 2000 some-odd years of church history has shown “make disciples” to be the most sure fire way to keep’m coming back.
    Well that and serving up fresh Starbucks with fresh Krispy Kremes never hurts either.

  • Joshua
    June 19, 2007

    Mmm…Krispy Kreme. Maybe a good poll is the best Sunday morning snack.

  • Mean Dean
    June 20, 2007

    Hmmm … snacks … now you’re talking Joshua … now you’re talking.

  • Paul Clifford
    June 20, 2007

    Where’s “a palpable sense of the HOly Spirit’s presence” or “lots of people are being saved”? That’s what attracted me to my current church. Although, we did have doughnuts then, too. ;)

  • Mean Dean
    June 20, 2007

    Yes, but are they Krispy Kreme? I mean, I was always taught that only the apostate embibed in them Dunkin’ Donut treats … especially the “holes” … I mean, what’s with that?!

  • Gene
    June 20, 2007

    This poll in particular needs to be multiple choice. If a church was ‘authentic’, but had terrible worship music, I wouldn’t keep going back (as was the case with a local Methodist church).

  • Geoff Brown
    June 20, 2007

    Gene’s right.
    I was really frustrated when I responded to the poll because the church I would stay at would have probably four of the attributes, and chosing between them for the most important was virtually impossible.
    I think I finally answered “kids” because my daughter is 30 years old, is a “Christmas and Easter” Christian, and if she was convinced to become active in a church it would be enough to convince me to stay there too.
    But an inarticulate pastor, or terrible music, or a bunch of old fogies for a congregation would all be sufficient negatives to make me NOT hang around.

  • Peter
    June 20, 2007

    Ditto on Gene – a combination of a couple of those items is really important. Authentic people who are being taught incorrect doctrine? People who can really worship, but aren’t authentic? (Is that even valid?) All of the above, but just about no place for my kid (and no plans for that)?
    Of course, I think this poll is a little skewed towards people who are looking for the right things to start with. :-) If you were to ask someone unlikely to visit this site, the answers would likely vary a little bit.

  • Big Mike Lewis
    June 20, 2007

    I think this shows that it’s not cool worship bands that draw people to a church…it’s the people that live like Christ that draw people to a church.

  • Tom
    June 21, 2007

    I’m not knocking your good intentions, but can we really count on a poll of people like me who would stop by a church marketing website? That doesn’t seem to be a good representation of a church’s real “customers.” I can tell you that your three lowest responses (kids interest, programs, and friendly members) are precisely the three highest responses that I get when asking guests what they like/dislike about a church they’re considering

  • Kansas Bob
    July 9, 2007

    I linked to this posted at my place and asked for input on your poll focusing on the issue of trusting church leadership.

  • Joellen
    February 14, 2011

    My main reason for staying at my church? Hmmmmm… I believe that’s where God wants me. It would never be God’s will for me to be at a church where I don’t spiritually grow and taught the correct Biblical principles and doctrines that are training me to be the Christian I should be. It is not God’s will for me to be at a church that does not envelope me with Christian brothers and sisters…a place where I can “assemble together” with believers.

    We don’t serve Krispy Kreme doughnuts and we’re not fancy. But I’m learning, and I’m growing. That’s why I stay, and that’s where I will say until God moves me. I’m only seventeen, but that’s the way God has taught me to view things.

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