NEED MEETING & Research Shows Growing Churches “Poll non-churchgoer needs & then fill them” #ReviewOfReligiousResearch

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Here is more research that supports the premise that churches that are asking non-churchgoers about their needs are growing faster than churches that just poll their own congregants. When you ask your congregation about the needs of non-churchgoers you’re getting ‘secondhand information.’ In academia this is called ‘secondary research’ and is not reliable because it is going through the filters of an intermediary, in this case your congregants. However ‘primary research’ is preferred in academia, where a researcher goes directly to a source (e.g. non-churchgoers) and asks them about their needs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat around in church board meetings where they guessed at the needs of the community. Sometimes they were accurate, but most times they were not because the board members had become part of a Christian culture and often missed the needs of the non-churchgoing culture. Below is more research that confirms this along with how one of my students nicely summarized it.”

The student wrote. “Vokurka and McDaniel (2004), in a study of Southern Baptist congregations of varying makeup, have found that developing programs directly based off of observed or surveyed needs is the best approach among churches that experience numerical growth (p. 145).”  Vokurka, R. J., & McDaniel, S. W. (2004). A taxonomy of church marketing strategy types. Review Of Religious Research, 46(2), 132-149.”

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