Appealing to the unchurched: What attracts new members?

Barbara Carrick Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The exploratory study that is the subject of this paper examines the importance of ten church service and program variables in the decision by members of different age cohorts to join a church. Variables that were investigated included aspects of the worship service; adult, children and senior education programs; and recreational activities. Two additional variables, denominational loyalty and the desire to be part of a spiritual community, were also investigated. Chi-square tests were used to evaluate the significance of each program as well as elements of the worship service. In addition, sources of information that members used prior to the first visit were examined. The most important resource was word-of-mouth. There were 460 respondents who were members of Southern Baptist and Unitarian Universalist churches located throughout the South and Southwest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Age segmentation
  • Assessment of church programs
  • Church marketing
  • Denominational loyalty
  • Exchange model
  • Relationship marketing
  • Sources of information

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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