Number crunching the unchurched matters – Light Show Report 2010

We count people because people count to God. If you spend $1 a person to gain an opportunity to present the gospel — that’s great IF the people you present to don’t already believe the gospel.  So the question becomes, how much do you spend on what in order to reach what kind of people.

Effective Outreach

Spend the most efficient amount + reaching the right people = WIN

Topeka Bible Church does an annual 15-minute drive-in light show synchronized to live music in a 3-story building. We’ve done the light show for 4 years. Each year we poll those who come to find out whether or not the light show is reaching people it’s designed to reach. So keep the following in mind…

The light show is designed to present the gospel through the Christmas story to those who do not yet have a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are lots of side-missions and bi-products that the light show creates, this this foundational mission of the gospel is central and crucial to it continuing.

With that mission in mind, it’s important we evaluate whether or not it’s accomplishing it’s mission. The minute is doesn’t achieve this mission…we need to reinvent it or kill it. So here are the quick evaluation points.

  1. 34.7% of those polled said this was their first year to the light show.  This means new people are still coming to the light show – allowing us to connect with first time light show attenders.
  2. The number of people we are reached is about the same number as we did last year. Last year we had an additional night…and we drew in 219 more people last year. This year, we did one less evening — and the numbers kept up with last year.
  3. Percentage-wise, fewer people from TBC are attending the light show. This is a good thing in our book.
  4. No one knew about the automated light shows. This means we lost an opportunity for people to return and invite others between 12/14 and 1/1. For 2011 we will make a big push to make this clear.
  5. The percentage of those without a church home (compared to church attenders) is increasing.  Those who attend church (either TBC or another church) are decreasing.  This is what we want to happen over time.  This could be due to the 2,500 parade flyers we handed out and emailing an invite to past light show attenders.
  6. We budget $6,000 for the light show.  This means this year we spent about $1 for every person who came to the light show.  But if you look at what it cost to reach just the un-churched…the ratio was about $5.41 per un-churched person.  That’s the number that makes the difference whether or not we are being effective or not.

Here are some of the charts that spell out the numbers.


The ultimate question is — is it worth $5.41 for each of the 1110 un-churched people who come? What better method could we use?


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