The law of three hearings and seven touches refers to research into the evangelistic efforts of growing churches. It shows that an unchurched person who visits a church rarely joins the Christian community after a first visit (that’s obvious to most of us…). He or she needs to attend a church service and hear the Gospel three or four times before making a meaningful decision to become a Christian or unite with the church. It is similar to someone purchasing a new car or a new house; the more significant the purchase, the longer it takes to make up one’s mind. That is the law of three hearings.
The law of seven touches points to the fact that an unchurched visitor needs to be quickly networked into the church to remain true to his desire to know Christ. This means that unchurched visitors are more likely to return for a second and third visit if they are contacted seven times after their first visit. These contacts, or “touches”, can be initiated by members of the church through letters, emails, video calls or phone calls, visits, or other personal contacts. When the laws of the three hearings and the seven touches are followed, unchurched visitors are much more likely to respond to the Gospel and join the church.
In fact, the Gospels show us that Jesus not only called his disciples, he also accompanied them personally and even invited them to see where he was staying (John 1:38-39). Welcoming, keeping in touch and accompanying are essential elements of authentic and fruitful evangelization.
(Much of the information in this text is taken from the book 154 Steps to Revitalize your Sunday School and Keep your Church Growing, written by Elmer L. Towns.)
Pierre-Alain Giffard, Director of Pastoral Work