Among the nine occasions tested, "during the Christmas holiday season" earned the highest response with 47 percent of respondents citing it as a time they were more open to considering matters of faith.
"Our research shows that people are open during the Christmas season," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. "When someone says 'Happy Holidays,' I'm not sure the response should be snarling 'Merry Christmas.' Instead, I'd suggest seizing the opportunity the season provides. Christians should be as bold in their witness as some are in protest."
In the 2008 study, LifeWay Research found that 67 percent of Americans say a personal invitation from a churchgoing family member would be the most effective method a local congregation or faith community could use to invite them to attend. Invitations to attend church from a friend or neighbor are almost as effective, with 63 percent of Americans indicating this variety of invitation would be effective.
"Americans celebrate Christmas but are often disconnected from the birth of a personal Savior," Stetzer said. "There's a gap between practice and belief -- and Christians need to step into that gap and share why Jesus was born."
Brooklyn Lowery is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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