A few years ago I hosted my friend Dr. Gary L. McIntosh for a conference that discussed assimilation principles taken from his book, Beyond the First Visit. Fortunately, while he was with us, Dr. McIntosh unveiled the findings of a recent national survey he conducted.
…I was somewhat surprised by the overwhelming importance of the pastor’s preaching.
I knew that the pastor played an important role in reaching and keeping people in a local church, but I was somewhat surprised by the overwhelming importance of the pastor’s preaching. Consider these findings from the study:
- 90% of respondents said that the pastor’s preaching influenced their decision to attend a particular church.
- When asked to rank the order of reasons why they chose to attend their church, the preaching of the pastor ranked #1.
To examine the specifics of the pastor’s role, the survey asked, “What factors of the pastor’s ministry influenced your choice of this church?” Below are their responses listed in the order of their ranking.
Top 4 Influential Pastoral Ministry Factors:
- Preaching that teaches and applies to my life.
- Authenticity of the pastor.
- Pastor’s convictions.
- Pastor’s leadership skills.
This study confirmed what most of us already suspected–the pastor must play a pivotal role if a local church is to experience genuine growth and/or revitalization. Somewhat surprising was the overwhelming importance of preaching.