Why People Leave The Church

When you notice people starting to leave the church, it’s worrisome. You may wonder what happened or if there was any way to prevent it.

First of all, it’s not always related to the church. Second, it is possible to prevent some church members from making the decision to leave.

The most important thing to do is to remember to listen to the needs of all your members. It’s that feeling of community that keeps a church growing and thriving.

They’ve Simply Burned Out

custom church website buttonIt’s far too common to have members leave the church due to burnout. These aren’t the members who just show up for services. These are your members who regularly volunteer, lead groups and help out any way they can. As with anything in life, too much of a good thing is sometimes bad. In fact, it could lead to serious burnout. The result is they leave to take a break. Even some pastors experience burnout, but not nearly as many as statistics lead you to believe.

Limiting how many areas a member is involved in and making sure to show appreciation are two ways to prevent this issue.

They’ve Went Through A Major Life Change

This is one might not be preventable. For instance, when church members get new jobs and have to move away. It’s a legitimate reason to leave the church, but that doesn’t mean they won’t start attending a new church soon. You may find married couples going through a divorce either both leave or one leaves to avoid seeing each other. In instances like this, there’s not much you can do, but for members grieving over a loss, take time out to talk to them and let them know they’re always welcome back whenever they feel like attending again.

They Didn’t Feel The Church Met Their Needs

Everyone attends church to meet specific needs. Spiritual guidance is an obvious need, but other needs might include a feeling of community, helping around their local area, meeting new friends and feeling appreciated for helping out. Sometimes this is the fault of the member and sometimes the church itself. For instance, if someone wants to volunteer, but always waits to be asked instead of coming forward, there isn’t much church leaders can do.

It’s a good idea to talk to members regularly to determine if needs are being met and if not, what problems might exist.

They Didn’t Feel Like A Part Of The Church Family

Have you noticed how more and more churches seem to be being built almost on top of each other? Part of that is due to this reason why people leave the church. No church is perfect and neither is the church family. Like any family, there are going to be those who don’t feel like they fit in. You may have members who constantly stir up drama or gossip about others. All of this leads to members who don’t feel like a part of the family anymore and go off in search of another church.

They Think Newer And Bigger Must Be Better

Along the same lines, when a new church comes into the area, the idea that newer or bigger is better may blind your members to what’s truly important – God’s word. When Andy Stanley stirred up controversy that bigger churches are better, many rightfully disagreed. Big or small doesn’t matter. It’s about the community within the church. The key is to continue to bring members closer together, talk with them and create a true family so members aren’t distracted by the latest and greatest.

They May Not Like New Changes

Music choices, decorations and even changes in leadership are all potential reason why people leave the church. This is a growing issue in churches that are trying to create a more modern worship service that appeals to members of all ages. It’s important to discuss changes with your members before implementing them. Through discussion, you may be able to find compromises that keep more members in the church.grow your church button

They Just Want To Worship, Not Watch A Production

It seems to be a common myth that churches need loud music, a light show, big screens and more to get members’ attention. While that does get attention, it also distracts. Members come to church to learn more about their faith. Investing in a good sound system for a larger church is a good idea, but you don’t need speakers that have color-changing lights. Moderation is key here. Simple and elegant is sometimes better. Talk with your members to see if things are going overboard or if there are some changes you can make to have a more engaging service.

Want an easy way to connect with your members, even when they’re not in church? See how valuable a church website is to helping you build your church.

7 Tips To Increase Engagement To Improve Church Attendance

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.

custom church website button2. Create More Ways To Get Involved

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.

grow your church button5. Add In A Little Humor

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.