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Outreach Radio and TV Spots
Seventh-day Adventist churches are more likely to use radio and television spots as outreach than are other religious congregations in the U.S. Adventist pastors report that their members are more likely to be interested in broadcast evangelism.

Some 28% of local congregations of all faiths in America report that they have used radio or television advertisements or stories during the last 12 months to reach out to potential or inactive members in the community, while 31% of Adventist churches give the same report. Nearly a quarter of  pastors of all religions (22%) report that their members are not interested in this kind of outreach, while Adventist pastors are half as likely to give the same report.

In both cases, the majority of pastors say that they have not used radio or television spots in the last year, but their members are definitely interested in such a project. For all religions it is a bare majority of 51%, while for Adventists it is a strong majority of 58% of pastors.

Radio and television spots are expensive and require sophisticated skill to get significant results, therefore these media are usually beyond the capacity of a local church. Yet, the vast majority of adults in the pews and on church boards today are from the generations that grew up after the broadcast media became ubiquitous in America.

The most common kind of religious broadcasting has been transmitting sermons on 30-minute programs or the entire worship service. Much more effective in reaching large numbers of listeners/viewers are “spot” broadcasts such as 30-second, 60-second or even 3-minute programming and the placement of stories or guests on established magazine or talk shows. It is this second approach that is measured in these data.

Discussion Questions:

1. In addition to the media ministries of the denomination, has our congregation placed spot ads or stories on local radio or television? If so, when were they aired?

2. What level of interest do we have in experimenting with this kind of outreach?

3. Should we appoint a task force to do some research about the cost, options, and potential listening/viewing audience ratings?

Learn more about the Faith Communities Today (FACT) research.

Paul Richardson
Executive Director
Center for Creative Ministry

Creative Pastor e-Newsletter, June 23, 2007, Center for Creative Ministry