Church growth is key to keeping the church strong, forward-looking, and in service to the community. Many churches have an attendance that skews to an older demographic. For a long time, churches have had to adapt and become better at growing their attendance. Thankfully, there are many ways for a church to grow, although it can take a lot of time, effort, and patience.
You know your skill set, background, and what you have available time-wise. If you can’t think of something more direct to help grow your church, talk to church organizers directly and let them know you’re available if anything’s needed. A pastor or church leaders may need the help, whether in helping organize something or simply volunteers.
Churches can be stressed like any other business. By offering to take some of the responsibility, you allow your fellow church members some space to breathe and relax. Here are some strategies on how to help your church community grow.
Although this isn’t necessarily the most effective way to get the word out, traditional paper flyers in the mailbox can still help get the word out about your church. Be careful though, as some jurisdictions have specific rules on flyers and advertising, as do some housing developments as it relates to a solicitation. Contact your church ahead of time and ask about launching a flyer campaign.
2. Hold a Family Event
Church communities like the United Church of Canada are built by families. Instead of going out of your way to simply advertise, try volunteering the idea of hosting a family event. This can be secular and run by the church or involve the church sponsoring or participating in an existing community family event.
This isn’t to evangelize but is to assert a church’s existence. It lets people know you’re there. For those that have their eyes and ears open, they’ll hear the message.
3. Organize a Local Fundraiser
You want to get the name of your church out there doing good for the community. You might connect with a local charity or cause and engage in a limited-time fundraiser to gather funds on their behalf. This would put church volunteers to work for something the church is passionate about, community-driven and somewhat secular in design.
This mobilizes church resources, putting them towards outreach. Best of all, your efforts won’t come across as overly forceful or unappealing to non-believers or individuals who might not have ever been to church before but are interested.
4. Be Welcoming with Newcomers
You don’t want someone new coming to your church and feeling unwelcome. This is why some new families will go to a few churches before they settle on a house of worship they like. As someone attending your church, try to make sure you say hi to unfamiliar faces. Although you don’t want to make them uncomfortable by giving them too much attention, a simple ‘hello’ and a smile is often all you have to do.
5. Reach Out to Existing Church Members
It’s a lot easier to retain existing members than it is to seek out new ones. Despite that, a lot of strategies around church growth focus on attracting new people. As a church member, try to make an effort to reach out to the people already going to church with you.
There might be people who aren’t doing so good, having a rough time, or would just benefit from a conversation. Retention has got to play a role in growing a church.
6. Host a Church-Adjacent Activity
A fine way to grow the church is simply by scheduling activities, hosting classes, and bringing people physically into the church, introducing them to the church, and having it not be about joining. This could be anything from hosting a class, such as learning an instrument or cooking, to just opening up the church for community gatherings on a weekly basis. Once again, for the people who need to hear the message, they will hear it. It isn’t something that needs to be forced.
7. Search Out Ways to Go Digital
The #1 reason people do not go to church is that they do not have the time. Most churches do not have as well-developed an online presence as small businesses and other community organizations. If you have a skillset online or are familiar with social media, digital outreach, and website building, you might be able to help your church reach out to people in need online and grow the reputation of your church that way.
Start an email or SMS chain on behalf of your church. Connect with your church leaders and introduce the idea of running a weekly or monthly email. You can collect subscribers on social media or in person. With email or text messages, you can also send out news and information on the latest in your church.