Less than one-third of active churchgoers said they definitely plan on bringing an unchurched friend to an Easter service this year, according to a new study from the Barna Group. However, most said they would be open to inviting someone.
"We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that so many people are at least open to the idea of offering such invitations to their friends and family," said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group. "One of the challenges to pastors and other church leaders is to find out what’s actually preventing them from following through on that willingness."
The study also looked at Americans’ views of Easter. Although most adults surveyed considered Easter a religious holiday, less than half (42 percent) directly linked the day to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Among those who don’t regularly attend church—the group that many churches target during Holy Week—the research showed that only 25 percent connect the holiday with Jesus’ resurrection.
Interestingly, those who view Easter as a celebration of Christ’s resurrection are no more likely to invite a friend to church than other religiously oriented Americans. [barna.org, 3/15/10]