How do you get people involved in church?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastorba, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. Pastorba

    Pastorba
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    To the pastors or anyone else out there. I pastor a small church (A.M. attendance about 40). It is possible for us to have around 60 in morning attendance if people would just show up. What I want to know is if there are others who face the same challenges (I am sure all do!) and how do you go about getting more people not just present, but involved in the ministry.

    I left Bible college with the notion that if you faithfully preach the Word people will come. At least in my 4 years of experience that hasn't necessarily been true.

    What are some ways you get people involveld in chruch?
     
  2. USN2Pulpit

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    When you say "getting involved in church," do you mean church attendance, or the outreach/ministry/training aspect of the church?
     
  3. Pastorba

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    I guess I mean both/and/or. Seriously. I guess specifically getting people to come to church more than one time a month so you can get them involved in ministry enough to begin to grow a church by reaching more people. Does that make sense?

    What I mean is that we need to get our semi-regular attenders there more often so that when a new visitor does come they don't leave because we are "too small." And by getting them there more often we can then include them in more of our ministries.

    I am not looking just to "increase attendance" for any other reason than increased attendance means more people hearing from God regularly.

    I hope I am clear enough in what I am saying. (Maybe my sermons are about as clear as this post and that's why people stay home! :D
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    I would encourage you to give small responsibilities to each member/family. I know, most require faithfulness before responsibility, but sometimes it will really help to get "marginal" attenders involved.

    1. Go individually to people to ask, not a blanket appeal

    2. Get someone started SMALL but faithful - like being a "greeter" or "nursery"

    3. Work on a 1-on-1 discipleship. Get an older, faithful member to work with a newer, younger family.

    More to come . .
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

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    We're going to hold you to this. I am also very interested in this thread, and feel I would benefit greatly from a good discussion here.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    OKAY! FOUND IT. Looking for Warren's weekly newsletter and here is a brand new one on subject!

    Eight steps to breaking through an attendance barrier by Rick Warren
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

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    I have never posted in this forum as I am a layman, but this topic is of some interest to me, so I ask your indulgence.

    Margie and I have recently switched our memberships to a more conservative, but much smaller church here in rural VA. This small church has all that we were looking for: good, solid Biblical teaching, traditional hymns with traditional instrumentation during service, a "revival-like" growth, etc.

    However, a concern I had in our last church has carried over with me, that being the void of a whole generation. I am 39 and I am considered one of the "young" members. In comparison to our elderly, I'm sure I qualify, but there is a lack of 18-35 year olds (the last church of 100-150 regular attenders had three represenatives, the current church of 35-40 regulars has one). I realize that the teens graduate and leave for college, that is to be expected, but what are your thoughts about this generational gap that exists? Does your church also have this void?

    Is it that "Generation X" will return to the church when they have their own children? Did we in some way fail to teach them the importance of the assembly? Most importantly, is it too late or is there a strategy that will revive their interest in church? I have a few thoughts and theories on this, but I wondered if we are the exception or the rule.
     
  8. Pastorba

    Pastorba
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    Thank you all for your responses and I look forward to future dialogue.

    Dr. Bob, I appreciated the article from Rick Warren, there is much in there that we as a church need to do. I especially like the idea of older members discipling younger ones and then "getting out of the way" in there ministries to allow the newer people to get involved. I don't mean that the older members should really "get out of the way" in the way it sounds. I mean that they could perhaps give up the responsibilities they have carried for years and give them to newer people which would in turn help them to mature as well as they "take on new challenges."

    Clint,
    The Generation "X" age group is exactly the group we have been reaching, but cannot get them to keep coming. I feel like we have reached them primarily because they relate to me, (Yes, I am a recovering Generation X'er.)

    Keep the ideas coming, they are great!
     
  9. following-Him

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    I am only a lay person too, but if you are interested, one church we attended had a working party which met on a Saturday morning on a rota system and Rob, my husband was one of the working party leaders.

    I have been a church friend, this entailed being allocated three elderly people who could no longer get to church. I took them the monthly church magazine, sent cards for birthdays and Christmas, visited in hospital if the occasion arose and generally kept them in touch with what happened in church.

    At the church we attend now, I got involved by helping to do the washing up after fellowship following the service one Sunday morning. This led to being a volunteer at the Open Door ministry, where the church opens at lunchtimes on weekdays and serves soup, rolls, cakes, tea and coffee and we chat to visitors, some of whom have become regulars, and tell them about Jesus and in a lot of cases just listen. Following on from this I now help out with the catering at church events and we are door stewards and house group leaders too.

    Blessings

    Sheila
     
  10. Speedpass

    Speedpass
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    Does it happen to be affiliated with Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia(SBCV)?
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

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    Hi Jimmy -

    It is so coincidental that you would ask! We just returned tonight from a meeting with two represenatives of the SBCV and it is quite likely that we will be joining them within the coming weeks!

    If you wish to discuss this further, you may want to start a topic in Denominational Discussions (let me know if you do as that is not one of "my" forums) or General so that we do not derail Pastorba's thread. This issue of the lack of "X'ers" in church has long been a concern for me.
     
  12. Su Wei

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    get them reading their bibles and loving the Lord!!!
     
  13. Trotter

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    Get a copy of the book High Expectations by Thom Rainer. It is an easy read, but it will really open your eyes. It is on a study of SBC churches with the highest retention rates, and the results that were found.

    No gimmicks, no fancy programs, just the greatest common denominators. And the wild part is that what the churches did was to expect more from their members, and were not afraid to let them know (kudos to Dr. Bob [​IMG] ).

    It is definately worth the effort, and the price (paperback, around $15, used starting around $9 on Amazon.com).

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  14. Jimmy C

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    It has been my experience that the way to get more people to come is to provide as many open doors as you can. By open doors I mean programs that reach people where they are. Chilrens programs, ministries to divorced and singles, ministires to the elderly, sports teams etc.

    Once you get people there, give them jobs. Even if they are not members they can usher, make coffee, greet people, serve on certain ministry teams. give people a reason that you are THEIR church, they have ownership in it. Make sure that people are involved in some sort of small groups, either sunday school or home group bible studies.

    Develop ministires to the community, get involved in habitat for humanity or talk to your city about elderly that need their houses painted etc.

    If you havent worn your people out too much I think that you will see a higher percentage there on an average sunday, and possibly see a bit of growth.
     
  15. Speedpass

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    Same here. A friend once told me that too many Christian youth drop out of church once they graduate from high shcool. I guess they feel that they're independent of their parents, they don't have to go to church any more :eek: But this same friend told me that once these youth graduate college, get married, and start a family, they want to get involved in church again--if all that means is providing a spiritual background for their children.
     
  16. Trapper

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    Wow, Dr. Bob, an IBFer, quoted Rick Warren. Isn't that grounds for being kicked out?????
    Sincerely
    Ol Trapper
     
  17. Squire Robertsson

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