In a world where church attendance is continually decreasing, you might find yourself seeking new ideas. Studies show that while the number of weekly attendees is declining, the number of Christians isn’t. How do you attract new members when the drive to attend church is dwindling? Here are 5 tips for attracting new members to your church.
Social Media Matters
When you look closely at the membership of your church, keep in mind that we’re living in a new era of technology. Your members aren’t solely the faces you see in service on Sundays. You may want to start thinking about church online, streaming services, or posting your weekly messages, as your congregation isn’t always going to be live.
Let’s face it, schedules get busy, especially on weekends. Not every member of your congregation will be able to watch in real-time. Some people prefer podcasts, visiting previous messages, or watching services on their own schedule. Use social media to your advantage and offer a wider platform of access to your church.
Engagement Over Attendance
What matters more than physical attendance is engagement. How can you interact with current attendees while simultaneously seek to pique the interest of potential members? This all comes down to intentionality. Be fully intent on making your guests feel seen, heard, and valued.
Set up a peer to peer messaging app that allows you to contact large numbers of people in a way that feels personal. You can use this for weekly announcements, prayer requests, community group messaging, etc. Most people are attached to their phones 24/7, so you’re more likely to engage with them in a way that’s familiar and convenient to their busy lives.
Invest in your volunteers
Have you ever had someone fully invest in you? Was there a mentor in your life who challenged you to reach your full potential and step outside of your comfort zone? This element of support and investment is crucial in the church. After all, the Bible says that we are the iron that sharpens iron.
Be sure that your volunteers have an equal balance of serving and attending. Encourage them to take breaks and time off. It’s better to have a day or two without your volunteers than to have them burnt out. As your volunteers become leaders, they’ll recruit friends and family to join their team, thus increasing your number of attendees.
Host ICNU Discussions
Every volunteer/staff role is important. You need to have volunteers from distributing church envelopes to directing traffic. What would it look like to sit with those volunteers and challenge them to do more? Have “ICNU” — “I see in you” — conversations amongst your leaders.
The person stuffing programs could have an administrative gift that goes beyond their niche. They could be organized enough to take on the role of ordering those envelopes, designing the programs, editing announcements, etc. Your parking team member might be a retired police officer who could contribute security protocols for your church. These consistent volunteers can then recruit friends and family to join their team and ultimately bring in more members.
Be consistent and clear with the mission of your church. Jesus stated the most important commandment is to love God and love others. Be the church that loves the way Christ loves. Remind people that they belong; meet them where they’re at.
If your church is based on conformity and condemnation, it won’t thrive. True Christians are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, not the judge, jury, and executioner — or in this case, excommunicator. A church where you belong before you believe is sure to appeal to hearts longing for a place to call home.