Faith Communities Today
New Fact Information
In the major metropolitan areas of the northeastern quarter of the U.S., only about one person in twenty can recall one true fact about the Seventh-day Adventist Church. After 150 years, the Adventist message has made very little impact in this most urbanized sector of the world.
When random telephone interviews among the general public were done in these large cities, two-thirds of the respondents said they had never heard of the Adventist Church. The one in three who said that they had heard of or read about the Adventist Church were also asked a follow-up question, “When you think of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, what comes to mind?” Most of these respondents told interviews that “nothing” comes to mind, or they cheated a little bit by saying, “it’s a religion,” which they had already been told in the questions.
About one in ten gave the interviewer responses that indicate that they are confused about the identity of the Adventist Church. These included references to other religions such as, “They are the Mormons,” or statements that are simply not true about the Adventist Church such as, “They don’t believe in blood transfusions.”
Only five percent were able to give one true fact about the Adventist Church. These responses were scattered, with small numbers mentioning the Sabbath on Saturday, the health ministries and principles supported by the denomination, conservative views of Scripture and lifestyle, and general affirmations such as, “They are good, Christian people.”
1. If a similar survey were taken in our community, would we get a different response? How would it be different?
2. Why is the message not getting through, especially in the cities and suburbs?
3. Should we have a similar survey done in our community?The Center for Creative Ministry has conducted surveys of this kind for the North American Division, as well as union and local conferences and local congregations. Your church can contract with the Center to do this research for you or provide the training for your local volunteers to do it. Request a telephone meeting with Center staff to discuss the possibilities by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-800-272-4664.
Center for Creative Ministry
Creative Pastor e-Newsletter, September 5, 2007, Center for Creative Ministry