People go to church to have their spiritual and social needs met. But identifying ways to recruit new church members is often a challenge.
Finding the right church can be a challenge. This is because people may not know how to find a church that is compatible with their culture and doctrinal beliefs.
Some people will church shop until they find a church that is the right fit for them. But, what about those people who might be open to joining a church but don’t know how?
Most churches welcome new members but don’t do anything proactively to recruit them.
If people show up they welcome them but they don’t necessarily do anything to get them there. This creates a gap between opportunity and met needs.
5 Ways to Recruit New Church Members
1. Community Involvement
As the church, we are called to reach our community.
Community involvement not only benefits the community but may also be a great way to expose people to your church.
For example, get involved with blood drives, disaster recovery or volunteer for community sponsored events.
Use these occasions to help the community, meet people and to share information about your church and what it has to offer.
2. Host Community Events
Churches need to participate in the community where they reside. They need to interact and socialize with neighbors and demonstrate the love of Christ.
Every community has more needs than it has resources. Reach out into your neighborhood by hosting events that help the community and use your volunteers to support initiatives that can better the community.
For example, find a local park or neighborhood and take a day to clean it up or freshen up the landscape.
People need to witness the church demonstrate humble servant-hood. And that is done by helping the community in which it resides. We are the church and reaching out to our community is how we show others the life changing experience of our Christian walk.
3. Member Recruitment
Take a few Sundays a year and ask members to invite family or friends.
People tend to do this for Christmas and Easter but taking a different Sunday and creating a special message geared toward visitors, can help them better understand the church’s mission and vision and what you are trying to achieve.
4. Create Diversity Friendly Services
People with hearing impairments or language barriers are always looking for a place to worship that caters to their needs.
Target the diverse population in your area and create a church service that not only speaks their language but one that honors their culture. Advertise a hearing impaired service and have someone available to sign for the service and watch how many people you attract!
5. Create Interest Based Groups
Saddleback church sets the standard for creating interest based groups and ministries that cater to about any kind of interest and passion.
Create groups around member interests and have congregants invite their family and friends with like interests to participate. This is a great way to build relationships.
For example, create a golf group for the men and use it as a forum to meet other men in the church.
These kinds of groups will require some structure and oversight, so use a volunteer to help coordinate and train volunteer leaders for the groups.
Use a team of volunteers and brainstorm other ways to recruit new members to your church. Also remember to pay attention to those things that a church visitor will evaluate as they enter your doors so that their first experience is a great one.
The goal to grow your church should be solely for the purpose of sharing the life changing message of the bible with people who may have otherwise not been exposed to it. And when you provide a compelling message in an inviting atmosphere, you will naturally attract new members.
What ways do you recruit new people to your church?
photo by: DiegoSevillaRuiz
Article first published April 2013, updated July 2015.