By Ed Stetzer
I fly a lot. It seems as if each week I find myself in a different state and with a different group of church leaders. I meet lots of folks who are dissatisfied with their church’s impact. They want more. They have a growing desire to see lives transformed. They want their church to make an impact in their community and around the world. But how widespread is this passion for mission?
A couple years ago, LifeWay Research set out on an ambitious project to find some answers. In the months that followed, we completed 7,000 telephone surveys, 250 on-site interviews with Protestant pastors, and more than 15,000 church member surveys.
We gathered a massive amount of both quantitative (numbers) and qualitative (human experience) data that has given us a better understanding of how God is working in many congregations. As one who has been the bearer of bad news about churches in our day, the project had an unanticipated side effect: hope—not a characteristic normally associated with statistical research.
What did we discover that engenders hope? A detailed report is found in my book Transformational Church, co-authored with Thom Rainer. But let me share some top-level impressions from that study.
Until next time...