Church leaders are always looking for ways to improve church attendance. Most of the time, it all comes down to finding ways to increase engagement.
Even the most devout members may not want to attend if they feel bored or seem to have no purpose within the church.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up. This means your members need you more now than ever. They need church leaders to engage them and make church something to look forward to every week.
1. Ask What Members Enjoy/Want Most
While 40% of Americans say they attend church weekly, the real number is closer to 20%, at least according to one study. No matter what your numbers are, your members are your greatest asset when it comes to improving engagement and attendance.
You don’t have to be a mind reader or look to other churches to get ideas. Instead, talk with your members to see what they enjoy or look forward to the most. Also, ask them what they want from church. Perhaps you’re starting to get a majority of younger members and they prefer modern Christian music versus traditional hymns. Learn from your church family in order to give them the best worship service possible.
One of the most common reasons people give for not attending church regularly is they’re too busy. By the time Sunday rolls around, they just want to relax instead of sitting and listening to someone talk. Improve church attendance by creating more ways for members to be involved. A more active approach creates more of a social community that everyone enjoys.
Create more volunteer opportunities, have trivia at the end of each sermon (suddenly, everyone will be listening), have study groups that mix up each week (mix up members and leaders) and anything else you can think of. Involvement is engaging.
3. Talk With Members Versus At Them
People are talked at enough by their bosses at work. When they feel like they’re just a nameless face in a crowd being talked or preached at, they’re not going to want to attend regularly. This is one area where small churches can truly shine. As you get to know your members, you’re able to add in messages that truly speak to them.
Make eye contact, bring up a funny anecdote that happened between you and a member, have members ask questions and ask them about their thoughts on a topic. It’ll feel more like a conversation than a sermon.
4. Build Excitement Throughout The Week
No one can deny that a long week of working eight hours a day, commuting for an hour or more each day, going to kids’ sporting events and helping kids with their homework wears people out. This is why you have to build excitement during the week. Think of it like the latest Apple product release. There’s this massive build-up as the release date gets closer and it makes everyone feel like they have to have whatever it is.
Improve church attendance by doing the same thing. Put up teasers about your upcoming sermon, post inspiration messages on social media and put riddles on your blog related to the coming weekend’s message. The idea is to get members eager to hear what you have to say.
Church isn’t mean to be entertaining. It’s actually quite serious, but it’s even easier to get your point across with a little humor thrown in. For instance, listen to how Ken Davis uses funny stories to teach God’s word. While listeners are laughing, they’re also learning. It’s an engaging way to preach and makes church more entertaining. If comedy doesn’t come easily, let members volunteer to tell family friendly funny stories themselves. After all, everyone has that one story to share.
6. Tie In Sermons To Real Issues
If you truly want to engage members, tackle real issues with your sermons. Don’t just talk about a few verses. Instead, tie those verses into something that’s currently going on. When a sermon is relevant to what members are dealing with, they’ll pay more attention. They’ll also come back more because they feel like church leaders truly understand them and their needs.
7. Use Sermons To Motivate And Call Members To Action
Finally, use sermons to motivate and get members to take action. Inspire members to do something kind for a neighbor this week or explain how even that first little step could change someone’s life forever. Members want to feel uplifted and find direction in their lives. Weekly sermons can do just that. While it might be the hardest thing on this list, it could be exactly what you need to improve church attendance.
Looking for ways to engage members all week long? Contact us today to find out how our team can help you reach members online.