What do you do if few or no guests are attending your church or group?

What do you do if few or no guests are attending your church or group?

The key to getting guests to visit your church or group is not a secret. An overwhelming majority of those who visit the first time are there because they were invited by a friend or a relative. The last stat I saw on this was around 87% with the second most common reason for a visit applying to only 6% of your guests. If you are not having guests the reason is clear; your members are not inviting people. What is the issue here? Leadership? Your church culture? Anemic ministry or services? Lack of challenge? If you are having not guests you certainly need to analyze. Here are a few short term and long term solutions.

Short Term:

  1. Look in the mirror.  This one is tough. You must evaluate your leadership and role in this problem. Don’t give up. Grow and develop your skills.
  2. See the fields. Have you ever seen any demographic information on your city or county. It is eye-opening when you see the number of un-churched around you. You will find that anywhere from 70-90% (in North America) are not in church in your community on a given Sunday. Many, if not most, of those have no relationship with Jesus. Get this information and share it with your members.
  3. Apply the Law of Large Numbers. It is a simple principle. If you invite two people, one of them might respond. If you invite 100 people, you will have guests. Find a way to challenge your members and measure how many guests are being invited.
  4. Open the side doors. Some members of your community who will not attend worship will attend a fellowship. Your ministry should offer several throughout the year to introduce community members to your congregation. They are more inclined to attend when relationships are initiated and established with your members.

Long Term:

  1. Train members in evangelism. That is what the most effective churches and groups do. They do not train 52 weeks out of the year but they do not let 52 weeks go by without providing training. Train everyone through your teaching, preaching, and leadership. If not, you will continue to struggle getting your members to invite guests. The training begins with equipping members to be good inviters to not only your worship, but to fellowship opportunities.
  2. Work on the total environment. Lead some of your members on a “Nehemiah Walk.” Examine your facilities, meeting space, signage, greeting procedures, follow up plan. Are your facilities inviting? You know it can be improved. Get to it!

This is a blog, not a book so these solutions are not exhaustive but hopefully something will click that will help you provide leadership that results in more guests because after all, the ultimate goal is that guests would ultimately become disciples or grow as disciples and in turn help us in making more disciples in the future.