Church attendance seems to be trending down these days for sure. Commitment is lacking and there are plenty of distractions that keep the average church-goer’s attention away from church. Church leaders should be concerned about this and asking themselves how we can keep our congregation focused and engaged in our ministry. There are many opinions on this issue from different growth models and many church leaders.
This generation of church attenders is not going to be the same as those who attended church in the 70’s and 80’s in what might be considered the “glory days” of church growth. However, there are some constants that one must have in any era that brings glory to God. After all, the reason churches should exist is to bring glory to God and help people grow spiritually closer to Him. Here are several key thoughts for your church leaders to consider when answering this difficult question:
1) Preach the Word. In a day where the message from God is watered down and pastors try to keep everyone happy, the Bible must be preached unashamedly. People are drawn to solid Biblical teaching.
2) Build relationships with your congregation. Depending on the size of your church, this may be hard for one leader to do. However, you must employ a strategy that starts with you or your staff spending time with your congregation outside of the church. People want to feel connected to their pastor.
3) Communication strategy. Be intentional when it comes to communication. Don’t just count on them reading an email. People need to know what’s going on to feel a part of the overall ministry. There is nothing more discouraging like hearing something several weeks late due to missed communication.
4) Create an atmosphere of worship they don’t want to miss. This involves creativity and major planning on the staff’s part. Build excitement with your time of worship that makes people anticipate a great service and something they don’t want to miss.
5) Be relevant. This doesn’t mean compromise, but means that pastors can make some adjustments to reach their audience. People are very visual, so why not take advantage of this by using cutting edge technology to reach them. The world around us is constantly changing and the church needs to step up by standing on the Word while at the same time being relevant to those who are in need of the Gospel.
None of these are easy steps to achieve, but with a good plan and buy-in from your leaders, you can make those necessary steps for success in engaging your congregation better in the future. One key element all church leaders should employ is prayer. Constant prayer. Pray that God will give you a vision to lead your congregation and reach your community and stand on His truths.
I need help keeping my congregation engaged.