Every congregation has the goal of increasing church attendance. Spreading the word of God and expanding your member base is your church’s calling. However, achieving this goal can be challenging.
There are many ways to increase attendance at church, but one great place to start is with your church’s atmosphere.
Creating a Welcoming Atmosphere
If you want to know how to increase attendance at church, one of the best things you can do is create a welcoming atmosphere. Members and guests want to feel like they belong. There are several ways you can create a more welcoming atmosphere at your church.
Enhancing the physical appearance of the church
A great way to improve church attendance and make the space more welcoming is to enhance its physical appearance.
Start with the interior of the church. If it hasn’t been modernized in quite some time, consider refreshing the space. A brighter, fresh coat of paint can help make the space feel bigger and brighter.
Don’t overlook the importance of your seating options. What kind of seating do you currently offer? Consider upgrading to more comfortable and ergonomic sanctuary chairs that will keep guests comfortable throughout the service. Church chairs also allow everyone to have their own personal space and will be especially accommodating for guests with limited mobility or disabilities.
Friendly and engaging greeters
Creating a welcoming atmosphere isn’t just about the environment itself. It’s also about the people and energy in the sanctuary. To boost church attendance and create a more inviting space, make sure that your greeters are friendly and engaging.
Greeters should be:
- Making eye contact
- Taking the initiative to greet
- Being helpful but not overbearing
Greeters who genuinely enjoy helping and interacting with others will be best for this role. The goal is to ensure that attendees feel comfortable and have a point of contact if they need help finding things or want to learn more about the church.
Improving signage and directions
Attending a new church can be overwhelming. Along with meeting new people, new members must find their way around an unfamiliar building.
To help create a welcoming atmosphere and to increase church membership, focus on improving signage and directions.
Make sure that attendees understand the location of your:
- Childcare facilities (if applicable)
- Other points of interest
Signage allows attendees to get where they need to go with ease, and that will make them feel more comfortable in your church.
Empowering Church Members
If you want to encourage more people to come to your church, you must empower your current members. Encourage and give them an incentive to grow your congregation.
Encouraging members to invite friends and family
Here’s one of the best tips on how to grow church membership: encourage your members to invite others. Ask them to bring their family and friends to the next service.
Your members will invite other like-minded people, which will help your congregation grow while maintaining a strong sense of community and connection.
Organizing outreach and evangelism programs
Evangelism programs will help grow your church membership through outreach. These programs can organize events that help the church achieve its evangelism goals.
Here are some ideas:
- Sponsor a local classroom, school or student group. Have members volunteer to serve as chaperones for a school event or provide supplies for a classroom. Give back to the local community.
- Host a block party and invite the local community.
- Organize and deliver holiday food baskets to deliver to families and individuals in the community.
- Staff concession stands at school sporting events.
- Use social media and technology to reach out to the community.
Evangelism programs empower your members to help grow your congregation in a natural, organic way.
Implementing a member referral system
Member referral programs are a great way to promote your church. Congregation members invite people to join your church and receive a benefit or reward in return.
A good referral program will offer both the referrer and referee a bonus or benefit.
When you empower your members to reach out to the community, you allow your church to grow through word of mouth.
Relevant and Engaging Worship Services
Growing your membership is also about giving relevant and engaging worship services. If your services draw members in and keep them hanging on your every word, they will be more likely to attend in the future.
Here’s how to create more relevant services:
Understanding the preferences and needs of the congregation
If you don’t understand the needs and preferences of your congregation, your church attendance will suffer. Members need to feel like they are heard and understood when they attend services and church events.
If you’re not already doing so, make the effort to get to know your congregation. Hand out surveys and have conversations with members. Learn everything you can about each member of your congregation. Invest in them and they will invest in your church.
When you know what your members want and need from their church, you can make it a point to focus your services and activities on these things.
Not only will your current members continue to attend services, but they will likely bring others to future services as well.
Incorporating diverse worship styles
Do you want to know how to get people to come to church? Start incorporating different worship styles into the mix. People worship in different ways:
- Liturgical, which follows a predictable weekly format of prayers, readings, praises and responses
- Blended, which incorporates multiple worship styles
- Traditional, which includes hymns, music and more
- Modern, which focuses on being relevant to the culture
Experimenting with different worship styles may not work well for some churches, but if your congregation is open to it, give it a try. Taking this approach may help attract new and loyal members.
Involving the congregation in worship activities
Another effective way to boost church attendance is to involve your congregation in worship activities. Host a Bible study. Create different fun activities for members to engage in during worship.
When you get everyone involved in worship, they’ll feel more connected and a part of the community. Find ways to get your members to connect with one another and participate in services. You want them to feel like they are a valued part of the worship experience (because they are).
Learning how to increase attendance at church often comes down to trial and error, but it’s worth the effort. After all, church attendance has been shown to improve mental health, which is needed in the modern world.
Use the tips above to start developing a plan to grow your congregation. See what works and doesn’t work.