Church Attendance Doesn’t Define the Size of Your Church

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My team works with hundreds of churches every year, and it doesn’t matter where we are in the country, people attend church less frequently now than they did 15 years ago. Prior to around 2005, if you loved Jesus and loved your church, you attended services every week. Now, more and more people who love Jesus and love their church only attend services once or twice a month. The other weeks they are traveling, at the lake, involved in travel sports, or entertaining guests.

Church attendance used to be our primary measuring stick for how strong someone was in their faith. The jaw-dropping results of the Reveal survey (which included more than 400,000 people from 1,500+ churches) found that church activity and involvement does not actually impact spiritual growth.

Back in the early 2000’s, we assumed that we had about 50% more people involved in the life of the church than our weekly averages would indicate. In other words, if our regular attendance average was 1,000 people attending—our surveys indicated that we had a congregation of around 1,500 people. Most people still attended every week.

Not any longer. My sense is that factor is now more like 100% to 200%. With an average attendance of 1,000—you likely have 2,000 to 3,000 who are regularly involved.

It’s 2019 and we live in a digital world.

It’s time to quit being frustrated by people’s irregular attendance and embrace it! Churches that are winning are finding ever-better ways to keep their members engaged even when they aren’t there in person. In addition to broadcasting their services online, they are using social media and apps to connect with their attendees throughout the week. They use live polls to gain feedback and push content to devices through the week. Stories of impact are distributed regularly via social media. The good works of members are celebrated online, even when that work isn’t directly connected to the church. Giving is simplified through mobile apps or text-to-give.

If your Sunday attendance is flat-lined or even in decline, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are failing at your mission. Shift some resources to connect with people and meet needs where they are—through their devices every minute of every day. 

Tim Stevens1 Comment