There are so many variables as to why people begin attending church. And those variables grow even more complex as to why some of them don’t stick around. Here’s the secret to keeping church members connected.
1) They need a group of friends & personal connections at church. The best and most organic way for this to happen is through friends inviting friends to church. There’s an automatic connection. Work to grow the culture of a church that invites friends – through reminders, special events, specific community outreaches, etc. Also, work to develop commitment in classes and small groups. Mark out easily identified entry points to church connection and clearly, concisely, and consistently state expectations of members. Develop and train a team of people – relative to the size of the congregation, who are evangelistically hospitable in the sense that they are looking for a new person. Pulling in the new person from the very beginning goes a long way toward their long-term connection.
2) They need to quickly create memories serving the community through the church. We have to offer opportunities for the church to work together in mission and ministry. I’m not talking about the committee meetings or the budget conversations. We need people to get into cars and vans and drive to the nearest mission, homeless shelter, or inner city kids ministry and work together making a real and tangible hands-on difference for Christ. When the church is together in these kinds of ministries, not only is great work accomplished, but bonds and memories of serving together grow and are strengthened.
3) They need to know that sharing the love of Christ is first on the agenda – and everything else is down on the list, at risk of being removed or changed at any time. Continue to work to build a culture that says here’s the main priority… other things are great, but they may just as easily come and go. The main thing is this… and you’re invited to stick together as we accomplish it together.