If you’re a church leader, you’re always looking for ways to grow your church. It’s a common goal among churches of all sizes, and there are a number of ways to achieve it. One great way to grow your church is by increasing engagement among existing members.
Engagement is a broad term, but in the context of church growth, it refers to the ways in which members interact with the church and the larger community. This can include everything from attending worship services to participating in small groups or volunteering.
There are a number of reasons why increasing engagement can lead to church growth. For one, it helps members feel more connected to the church’s mission. When members feel like they are part of a community, they are more likely to actively participate.
Another challenge: the average church-goer in America is 57 years old.
This is a problem.
Not because older people are “bad,” but because it means that churches are not doing a good job of engaging with younger generations. If churches want to grow, they need to find ways to increase engagement with younger people.
In this blog post, we will explore some ways that churches can increase member engagement and grow their attendance. From social media to service projects and more, read on to learn more about how you can help your church engage with the community and grow its membership.
Connect Engagement Directly to Your Mission
If you want individuals to be dedicated to the primary objective of your church, solely engage in programming that directly fosters the primary objective. By ignoring dozens of other objectives, you will be able to focus on the ONE most crucial objective.
Eliminate your current program-based model of church growth for a more focused model. Why? It’s simple: when you give people too many choices, often they are overwhelmed and wind up doing nothing.
Challenge Your Congregation to Engage
People who serve in the mission are people who are engaged in the mission. We have found that our most involved people are not those who are in congregating in social cliques… instead they are the ones who serve the mission. People who serve understand the mission; they love the mission… and they’re ON a mission! Groups can be about the individuals in the group, whereas serving is almost never about the person, but rather the greater good.
Call for Action, Not Just Awareness
Preachers have a captive audience for 30 minutes every Sunday in which they are able to speak into people’s lives. Don’t use it to just give people “information.” Use it to call people to action.
With your words you can make it clear that the goal of the Christian faith is not to know something, but rather to do something.
If you continue to just “talk” about faith, your message won’t last much beyond Sunday afternoon. But if you preach about how to get involved and join the mission, providing clear action steps and opportunities to do so, eventually more people will engage and church attendance will grow.
Make It Easy to Get Involved
The challenge for many people who participate in a congregation is that they don’t know what to do to get involved. The simpler the path toward engagement, the more people will choose it.
Don’t overthink it, just make it clear and easy. And make an emotional plea for engagement. If they have to try to hard to figure it out, many will just give up.
Make It “Hard” to Stay on the Sidelines
People both rise and descend to our level of expectations.The same is true of groups of people, including church congregations. When you don’t expect people to do more than to attend your church, don’t be surprised if all they do is attend your church.
Craft a culture through your words, calls to action on a Sunday, and in all your communications where you expect people to serve, join a group, bring a friend and give generously.
Grow Engagement Language
In recent years, there has been a shift in the way churches speak to their congregations. More and more churches are moving away from passive language and towards active language. This change is designed to create a more engaging and interactive experience for churchgoers.
Some examples of passive language include phrases like “we hope you’ll join us” or “we’d love to have you come worship with us.” Active language, on the other hand, is more direct and inviting. It might say something like “come worship with us” or “join us for church this Sunday.”
This shift towards active language is designed to create a more inviting and inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of their background or beliefs. So if you’re looking for a church that’s more engaging and interactive, be on the lookout for churches that are using active language in their communications.
The idea is that these phrases describe a clearer outcome toward deeper engagement with the mission than the old language.
Acknowledge Church Engagement to Reward Parishioners
However you define increased engagement, call it out wherever you see it.
As the head of your church, it’s important to show your parishioners that you value their engagement. One way to do this is by sending out acknowledgement cards whenever they take part in church activities. This could be anything from attending Sunday service to volunteering for a church event.
Sending out acknowledgement cards is a simple way to show your parishioners that you appreciate their involvement in the church. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way in making your parishioners feel valued and appreciated.
Sometimes church leaders are great at asking but not at reporting back afterward. If you ask for volunteers and you get even more than you needed, make a point of celebrating it the next weekend.
When you see someone getting involved for the first time, thank them personally. Mention it when you see them after the Sunday service. You’d be surprised how far this small act will go.
Don’t fall into the trap of rewarding attendance, not engagement. To increase engagement, start celebrating how many people showed up, rather than how many people signed up. When you celebrate people taking action, great things happen in your church.
Increase Engagement to Grow Church Attendance
There are many ways to increase church attendance, but one of the most effective is to increase engagement. By making church more interactive and engaging, you can encourage people to come back week after week. If you’re interested in learning more about how to grow your church through engagement, contact us for a free consultation.